The Open Doors USA 2017 World Watch List, detailing the countries where Christian persecution is the most severe will be released in just a couple weeks.
According to Mission Network News, the last few years have presented troubling trends for Christian persecution worldwide. The year 2016 was the third year in a row in which persecution continued to rise significantly.
Countries that ranked highest on the 2016 World Watch List were Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq, and at number one, North Korea.
Those countries appear likely to continue the trend of brutal persecution of Christians. In fact, Open Doors has already revealed that North Korea will again top the World Watch List in 2017. That will mark the country’s 15th year as the worst country for Christian persecution.
“Even though persecution is horrific in places like Iraq, Syria, Somalia, there’s no country that quite has the restrictions, violence, or targeting of Christians like North Korea,” stated Emily Fuentes of Open Doors.
The International Business Times also reported on the increase in Christian persecution. The IBT reveals shocking Christian persecution statistics. Nearly 90,000 Christians were killed for their faith in the past year, which is the equivalent of one Christian being martyred every six minutes.
In addition to the astounding number of Christians killed for their faith, millions of others were prevented from freely practicing their religion.
Although the plight of Christians in many places around the world is grim, Mission Network News offers action steps Christians can take to help their brothers and sisters in Christ who are facing persecution.
Remembering these Christians in prayer is very important, as well as simply being aware of what countries need the most prayer. Open Doors 2017 World Watch List will be released on January 11.
“The number one thing is to be praying for the countries on the World Watch List,” said Fuentes.
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: December 30, 2016