With North Korea leading the way and Islamic extremism rapidly expanding, 2015 was the “worst year in modern history for Christian persecution,” according to a group tracking this issue.
Open Doors' 2016 World Watch List, a ranking of top 50 most dangerous places in the world to be a Christian, was released Jan 13. The nonprofit organization has focused on concern for persecuted Christians since 1955.
On its map, the top 10 are highlighted in blood red on to indicate “extreme” persecution. They are:
- North Korea, topping the list for 14th consecutive year
- Iraq, the first of 35 countries on the list where Islamic extremism “has risen to a level akin to ethnic cleansing,” Open Door’s report said.
- Eritrea, leading several sub-Saharan African nations on the list
Saudi Arabia, which recently executed a Shiite cleric and where bloggers have been sentenced to lashings for suggesting changes in the practice of Islam, came in at no. 14.