As persecution increases, your family needs your support to keep faith and hope alive
Persecution: The Key Facts
- The persecution of Christians has increased... across every region in which Open Doors works. The number of persecution points needed to enter the 2016 List has increased by 50% since 2013. This year the level of persecution increased even in countries that dropped out of the top 50.
- Religious extremism – Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist – is the greatest source of persecution of Christians.
- North Korea is still the most difficult place in the world to be a Christian.
- As well as in the Middle East, Islamic extremism has a second and powerfully destructive hub in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Islamic State (IS) violence is radicalising Muslims and therefore increasing pressure on Christians in many countries.
- The state is still a major source of persecution; but increasingly extremism is a cross-border phenomenon.
- Conflict and failed nation states result in increased levels of persecution.
- Never before have so many Christians been on the move. According to the UN, a record 60 million people have been displaced. A great number of these are Christians, especially in places like Syria, Iraq and Nigeria, where anti-Christian violence has driven hundreds of thousands of Christians from their homes.
- Gender violence is a weapon of persecution: women and girls are on the frontline.
- Open Doors records show that worldwide there were well over 7,000 Christians killed for faith-related reasons in the reporting period. That is a rise of almost 3,000 in comparison to conservative figures from the WWL 2015 period. This is excluding North Korea, Syria and Iraq, where accurate records do not exist.
- Around 2,400 churches were attacked or damaged, which is over double the number for the previous year.
- In six countries the level of persecution increased seriously (by 7 points or more): Eritrea, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan and Kuwait.
- In nine countries the level of persecution increased significantly (by 5 to 6 points): India, Ethiopia, UAE, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Yemen, Kenya, Indonesia and Niger.