Saturday, January 11, 2014

The world's largest persecuted minority

Open Doors has published its 2014 World Watch List of the 50 countries where Christians are the most persecuted. North Korea tops the list for the 12th consecutive year.

Anyone discovered in Christian activity in North Korea, it says, may be subject to arrest, disappearance, torture or even public execution. Between 50,000 and 70,000 Christians are imprisoned in horrific prison camps.

Somalia is in second place, with Syria, with its almost three-years-old civil war, third. Others in the top 10 are Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Maldives, Pakistan, Iran and Yemen. Top newcomer to the list is the Central African Republic, where horrific violence has been directed at Christians by the Seleka rebel alliance.

Christians are the largest persecuted minority in the world, with 100 million affected, and persecution is increasing. Islamic extremism is the worst persecutor. The worst area of persecution is in Africa, where a fifth of the world's Christians meet with a seventh of the world's Muslims.

A total of 2,123 Christians were martyred in 2013, compared to 1,201 the previous year. These figures do not include Christians from North Korea, where figures are difficult to obtain.

For further details, see

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