Even as bad as it’s gotten in the U.S. regarding Christians’ religious liberty, there are at least 50 countries around the world where it is much worse, according to the relief organization called Open Doors.
The group released a new map documenting the still worsening religious liberty conditions for Christians around the world this week. The list shows only those countries where crackdowns on public expressions of faith have been “severe,” “very high,” or “high.”
Here is the list, broken down by severity, as listed by Open Doors:
- North Korea
- Saudi Arabia
- Palestinian Territories
- Central African Republic
- United Arab Emirates
- Sri Lanka
In a statement accompanying the list, Open Doors states:
2017 represents the 25th year of the Open Doors World Watch List (although Open Doors has been monitoring persecution of Christians worldwide since the 1970s) ... Persecution of Christians is more than just physical violence. It is a complex, multifaceted phenomenon that involves many aspects such as various forms of cultural marginalisation, government discrimination, hindrances on conversion, interferences on participation in public affairs and restrictions on church life.
The report notes the principle engines for persecution of Christians are Islamic extremism, religious nationalism, ethnic antagonism, denominational protectionism, communist oppression, secular intolerance, organized crime, and dictatorial paranoia.