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"The levels of exclusion, discrimination and violence against Christians is unprecedented, spreading and intensifying..."
Christian persecution rose on every continent in the world throughout 2015, with North Korea listed as the most dangerous country to be a Bible-believer, according to a new report released by Open Doors USA, a group that works to combat global persecution.
Open Doors released its annual "World Watch List" report on Wednesday, ranking the top 50 countries "where it is most dangerous and difficult to be a Christian" during a morning event at the National Press Club.
The report found that the 10 worst nations are as follows (listed from most dangerous to least): North Korea, Iraq, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Iran and Libya. See the complete list of 50 below:
Open Doors USA
The findings in the "World Watch List" present a dire picture in which at last 7,000 Christians died throughout 2015 due to faith-related reasons.
While last year's 2014 report showed that "Christians faced the worst persecution in modern history," the situation in 2015 was far worse, with Islamic extremism continuing to be the primary source behind increasing persecution.
In fact, Islamic extremism, according to the "World Watch List, is the "lead generator of persecution for 35 out of the 50 nations" on its list.
"The levels of exclusion, discrimination and violence against Christians is unprecedented, spreading and intensifying," Open Doors president and CEO David Curry said in a statement. "Christians, longing to stay in their home countries, are being forced to flee for their lives and for their children’s lives."
Open Doors USA
The order of the top 10 nations in 2014 was slightly different. While North Korea topped the list, the remaining order (from most dangerous for Christians to least) was: Somalia, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Sudan, Iran, Pakistan, Eritrea and Nigeria.
Open Doors USA gets its data from on-the-ground interactions in each country — a grassroots approach that Curry believes allows for the most accurate and personalized information possible.
Find out more about the "World Watch List" here.
Front page image via Shutterstock.com.
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