245 million Christians are being persecuted worldwide because of their faith. This was the conclusion of the international human rights Christian organization Portes Ouvertes (Open Doors).
Nigeria is the worst country for a Christian to be in. However, the situation of Christians around the world is getting worse overall as well. The fairly recent case of Asia Bibi who was sentenced to death by the Pakistani court for blasphemy reminds of the dangers awaiting Christians around the world.
In its ranking of 50 countries where Christians are the most persecuted, Portes Ouvertes brought the following numbers. 245 million Christians are being persecuted in the world, which is 1 Christian out of 10 worldwide. Among them, 4305 people were killed because of their faith, while 3150 are in custody.
The first spots in the ranking have traditionally been taken by North Korea, Afghanistan, and Somalia. Despite the lack of reliable data on the situation in North Korea, the country where being a Christian is forbidden occupies the first spot.
In Afghanistan and Somalia, war also affects Christians. In Somalia, 50 Christians were killed. A year and two earlier, 23 and 12 Christians have been killed in the country respectively.
However, most Christians are killed in Nigeria. According to Portes Ouvertes, Nigeria has 9 out of 10 killed Christians in the world. In this country, 3731 Christians were killed between 2017 and 2018.
For four consecutive years, Nigeria has been at the top of the list of countries where Christians are killed because of their faith. Here, clashes are ongoing between Muslim nomadic shepherds and sedentary Christians.
In addition to this, it is also worth emphasizing the violent actions of the Boko Haram terrorist organization. In 2014, Boko Haram jihadists abducted 276 female schoolgirls, mainly from Christian families, from the Chibok High School.
China has also risen in the rankings in recent years. According to Portes Ouvertes, China has the largest number of Christian prisoners. Their number reaches 1131. As director of Portes Ouvertes Michelle Warton emphasizeв, “China cannot accept the fact that part of the population is not completely subordinate to the authorities. They are placing cameras in temples and are tracking and arresting Christians.”
In December 2018, at least 100 visitors of a local church were detained.
The Christians of India, which took 10th place in the ranking, are also being widely persecuted.
Turkey ranks 26th and belongs to the countries with a “very high” level of persecution of Christians. Tajikistan (29), Kazakhstan (34), Russian Federation (41), and Azerbaijan (50) also fell into the category of countries with a high level of Christian persecution.
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