The latest report from persecution watchdog group Open Doors USA has indicated that 100 percent of Christians in 21 countries are being opressed for their faith.
On Wednesday, Open Doors released its 2017 World Watch List, which ranks the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted the most.
Open Doors USA CEO David Curry said that there were 215 million Christians who experienced high levels of persecution in 2016.
The fact sheet provided by the organization revealed that as many as 1,207 Christians were killed across the world for faith-related reasons between Nov. 1, 2015 and Oct. 31, 2016. The figures are seen as a conservative estimate as it does not cover the killings that occurred in North Korea, Iraq and Syria.
“In the top 21 countries on the Open Doors World Watch List, 100 percent of Christians experience persecution. Christians are a minority in all countries on the list, accounting for only 13 percent of the total population,” the fact sheet stated, as reported by The Christian Post.
The 21 countries on the World Watch List are: North Korea, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Eritrea, Libya, Nigeria, Maldives, Saudi Arabia, India, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Kenya, Turkmenistan, Qatar and Egypt.
In North Korea, Christians can be killed or jailed for simply owning a Bible. Citizens are forced to accept the belief that the leader’s family is divine.
Reports about persecution in Somalia have been limited, but Curry said that no organized church is allowed in the country and every citizen is registered as a Muslim despite their beliefs.
According to World Watch Monitor, one of the greatest increases in Christian persecution took place in India due to religiously motivated nationalism. Islamic oppression is still seen to be the most common cause of oppression towards Christians, and it continues to rise in Africa, where more people have been killed for their faith than any other region.
“The Open Doors World Watch List is the most accurate, thorough and intensive research available on the persecution of Christians,” Curry stated.
“It calculates not only deaths reported in the news, but also persecution at a grassroots level, where family-to-family persecution is tracked. The 25-year research shows where the most unstable areas for Christians have historically been and, in many countries, remain,” he added.