The World’s Most Difficult Places to Live as a Christian


By Rositta Liosi – EMTV Online

The proliferation of religious persecution has become increasingly intense in more parts of the world, especially in 2015. Christian charity Open Doors monitors religiously motivated violence and discrimination and ranks the 50 worst countries in which to be a Christian.

The persecution of Christians is not limited to just physical violence – it is multifaceted and involves various forms of cultural marginalism, government discrimination, hindrances on conversion, and interferences on participation  

This global survey is based on a comprehensive scoring system that measures the degree of freedom Christians have to live out their faith in their private, family, community, national and church life. A sixth sphere in this survey includes measuring the levels of violence.

The Open Doors World Watch List (WWL) 2016 has ranked North Korea as the most difficult country in the world to be a Christian for the 14th consecutive time. According to Open Doors country profile, Christians in North Korea face arrest, torture, imprisonment and death for daring to believe there is a higher power other than the nation’s leader, Kim Jong-un.

In a recent article by The Guardian, Nigeria, ranked number 12 on the Open Doors World Watch List was the most dangerous place for Christians, accounting for more than half the 7,000 recorded killings in 2015. In Africa and the Middle East religious persecution is on the rise, with more than half the countries on the WWL being from either of the two countries.

 WWL 2016

Image: World Watch List 2016

According to Open Doors, the highest level violence directed against Christians was in Nigeria, Central African Republic, Kenya, Libya, Pakistan and Syria whilst the countries that have more suffocating pressures on the degree of freedom that Christians have to live out their faith are North Korea, Somalia, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Maldives, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Syria. 


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