North Korea is the most dangerous country to be a Christian.
Persecution across the world
World Watch List
World Watch List
Find out the regions where persecution is growing most, and the trends impacting global persecution.
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WORLD WATCH LIST
Our expert researchers measure developing trends in Christian persecution each year from 1 November – 31 October through on-the-ground interviews and data collection. In over 70 countries, we uncover where the Church is most persecuted.
There are two main ways Christians experience persecution: violence and pressure.
Based on the number of violent incidents in the reporting period.
Measured in five spheres of life: private, family, national, church, and community.
Each country receives a score based on a detailed report of violent incidents and the five spheres of pressure. These are added up to a score out of 100, creating each country’s rank on the World Watch List.EXPLORE THE WORLD WATCH LIST
latest from the persecuted church
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On 31 January 2024, children who found shelter in the buildings of the Catholic and Orthodox churches in Gaza City…
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This week, a year ago, families in Turkey and Syria endured one of the largest earthquakes the region has ever…
MyanmarMyanmar | Church Bombed During Sunday Service
On Sunday, 7 January, a church was bombed when the Burmese military launched airstrikes in Kanan Village, Sagaing Division, south…
SudanSudan | Presbyterian Church Set Ablaze
On Friday, 12 January 2024, around noon, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in the city of Wad Madani in Sudan was intentionally…
YemenPray For The Yemeni Church
365 million Christians now persecuted for their faith The number of Christians across the world who are suffering persecution and…
NigeriaNigeria | Christmas Eve Attack
Nigeria: Over 100 Killed in Christmas Eve Attacks Please pray for Christians affected by brutal attacks in Plateau State, Nigeria….
PhilippinesPhilippines | Church Bombing
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Southern Asia | Believers Gather for the First Time
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SudanSudan | Church Caught in Crossfire
During the first week of November, the Church in Sudan was caught in the crossfire of two warring parties, as…
NigeriaNigeria | Christian Mother Faces Imprisonment
A Nigerian Christian mother-of-five, who has been detained for more than a year without trial, faces up to three years…
BangladeshBangladesh | Christian Children Facing Discrimination
Pressure on Christian converts in Bangladesh is increasing, with hate posts being spread on social media and children as young…
How is the World Watch list put together?
The first World Watch List was produced in January 1993. Countries’ overall persecution scores are an amalgamation of six different scores. This year’s list covers the period 1 Oct 2022 – 30 Sept 2023.
Released at the beginning of each year, the list uses extensive research, data from Open Doors field workers, their in-country networks, external experts and persecution analysts to quantify and analyse persecution worldwide. Each edition is certified by the International Institute for Religious Freedom.
How can we pray?
Please stand with us in prayer. As Open Doors founder, Brother Andrew, says:: “Our prayers can go where we cannot… there are no borders, no prison walls, no doors that are closed to us when we pray.” Ephesians 6.18 reminds us, to ‘keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.’
Each quarter we release a prayer guide to help you in praying for the Top 50 countries on the World Watch list. Prayer points have come from our partners on the field and the families and communities they serve. Whether you pray alone or with your bible study or group, we know your prayers are powerful and effective.
Sign up to get a Prayer Guide delivered every quarter.Sign up today
How can my church get involved?
We love when churches get involved in learning about the persecuted church. We have resources for you or your pastor to share in church and information to help you pray and support your suffering brothers and sisters in Christ.Find out more
How can I help?
We need to stand with our suffering brothers and sisters. Here’s three ways to help:
- Pray: One Afghan believer said, ‘it’s only because of you, because of your prayers that we are still here. If it had not been for your prayers, we would be long gone.
- Give: The needs of the persecuted church are constant. Emergency relief and trauma counselling after an attack; Support to rebuild churches and homes; bibles and Christian resources to strengthen believer’s faith.
- Share: One of the reasons the World Watch List was created was to grow a greater awareness of the depth and breadth of persecution against Christian. Help share the stories of the persecuted church through your church, small group and online.
WHERE PERSECUTION COMES FROM
WHAT TYPES OF PERSECUTION DO CHRISTIANS FACE
Our experts use nine broad categories to measure the source of persecution:
- Islamic Oppression – Any violent or non-violent action used to bring countries, communities, and households under Islamic control.
- Religious Nationalism – Using the country’s majority religion to imply Christians do not qualify as citizens.
- Clan Oppression – Instances where a clan or extended family ensures the ongoing practice of traditional values or belief systems by force.
- Ethno-Religious Hostility – When one ethnic group subjects another to hostility based on their religion.
- Christian Denominational Protectionism – Making one Christian denomination the only legitimate expression of Christianity in the country.
- Communist and Post-Communist Oppression – To monitor and control Christians and churches through a system based on communist values.
- Secular Intolerance – To eradicate Christian expression from public life and impose atheistic secularism.
- Dictatorial Paranoia – Persecution derived from an authoritarian government which does everything to maintain power, including tearing down organised groups like Christians.
- Organised Corruption & Crime – Gangs and criminal groups create a climate of anarchy and corruption for selfish gain. Christians will often speak out against them and become targets for persecution.