// World Watch List

The 2018 Open Doors World Watch List

Over 200 million Christians around the world are persecuted because of their faith. They are beaten, killed, forcibly detained, denied education or job opportunities, their churches and homes bombed and burned, their children abducted.

The World Watch List is Open Doors’ annual ranking of the 50 countries where Christians face the most extreme persecution. It’s a unique, in-depth record of the places where faith in Jesus costs the most.

For over 60 years, Open Doors has been on the ground with persecuted Christians. In over 50 countries around the world, our underground networks are equipping them with Bibles and training, providing them with practical and spiritual support, and sharing their lives. It is this first-hand knowledge and experience that makes the World Watch List such a unique window into the world of persecuted Christians.

Extreme persecution is increasing – and so are the needs of our brothers and sisters. As you read about the plight of persecuted Christians around the world, we pray that you will be not only informed, but inspired to see how your support can make a real difference to Christians facing extreme persecution.

"We can't describe with words the importance of what you have done for us. We only pray that God will reward you for this great work. Thank you so much." – Persecuted Christian, northern Nigeria



World Watch List Country Profiles


Explore detailed, country-specific information on the 50 countries where it is most dangerous to live as a Christian. These are the places where followers of Christ must keep their beliefs hidden and where living the gospel means facing beatings, imprisonment, discrimination and abuse.

Explore the countrIES OF THE World Watch List

World Watch List Resources


A range of World Watch List resources to inspire prayer and action on behalf of persecuted Christians around the world. Order your free copy of the 2018 Open Doors World Watch List Guide and find out about other World Watch List resources for churches and individuals.

Discover the world watch List resources

Persecution Trends


What does the 2018 World Watch List reveal about the trends in global persecution? Open Doors experts look at what factors are shaping Christian persecution at the moment and how, despite the darkness, persecuted Christians are continuing to share the light and life of Jesus.

Latest trends in global persecution

About the World Watch List

About the World Watch List

The Open Doors World Watch List is the only index of its kind in the world. But how is it put together? How do you measure persecution? And what's the difference between 'smash' and squeeze'?

Find out how the list is put together

Four responses to persecution

Four responses to persecution

When persecution strikes, how do Christians respond? For persecuted Christians around the world there are four main options: dive and survive, register and submit, flee and live, or stay and die.

Read more about how Christians respond to persecution

The Faces behind the Figures

The Faces behind the Figures

The World Watch List is about the big picture – the facts and figures, the global trends. But the big picture is made up of millions of individual faces. Here are six representatives of persecuted Christians from around the world who really need your prayers and support.

Read the stories of the persecuted church

"We are not afraid but strong and hopeful. We know He will come again. That is why there is so much pain and suffering. That is why there is persecution. He is coming back and those who do not know Him need Him in their lives. For now, we – His followers – need to live with thankful, prayerful hearts."
– Afghan brother