The persecution of Christians is at its highest point in three decades, according to the latest report from international advocacy group Open Doors. Source: The Tablet.
The World Watch List, released by Open Doors last week, reported that the number of Christians facing persecution worldwide remained steady in 2022 at approximately 360 million.
In a list of the 50 countries with the most persecution, North Korea returned to the first spot in 2022. Afghanistan had the top ranking in 2021 following the Taliban’s takeover of the country’s government.
Afghanistan ranks ninth in the latest list because the country’s Christians have either been killed, fled, or are in strict hiding, according to Open Doors’ Italian director Cristian Nani.
The few Christians who remain in Afghanistan are living like the early Church, Mr Nani said at a presentation of the World Watch List at Italy’s Chamber of Deputies. “They live the faith in secret because it’s the only way to live it in safety.”
Mr Nani explained that today there is an increasing phenomenon of a “refugee” Church, due to the number of Christians fleeing persecution.
The other countries classified as having “extreme” levels of Christian persecution in 2022 are Somalia, Yemen, Eritrea, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Iran, Sudan, and India.
In addition to its Watch List, Mr Nani said Open Doors is working to find “radical solutions” to persecution and to help persecuted Christians find healing and forgiveness, and to “break the circle of violence”.
Persecution of Christians at highest point for three decades (By Hannah Brockhaus, CNA via The Tablet)