ADVERTISING
 
Wednesday, March 29   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Faith at the workplace
Do you agree with the EU Court of Justice that religious and political symbols can be banned at the workplace?




SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Open Doors
 

2016 World Watch List: Jihadism propels dramatic rise in persecution

North Korea is still the most difficult place in the world to be a Christian, according to new report by Open Doors. Jihadism, Hindu and Buddhist extremism are the greatest sources of persecution.

SOURCES Open Doors AUTHOR Evangelical Focus LONDON 13 JANUARY 2016 12:37 h GMT+1
jihadism, open doors, persecution The WWL 2016 lists the countries in which it is most difficult to be a Christian. / Open Doors

“Global persecution of Christians is more extreme than ever before”, Open Doors said after releasing the 2016 World Watch List. North Korea is still the most difficult place in the world to be a Christian.



Religious extremism – Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist – is the main source of persecution of Christians.



“Worldwide there were well over 7,000 Christians killed for faith-related reasons in the reporting period”, the agency explained. “That is a rise of almost 3,000 in comparison to conservative figures from the WWL 2015 period.” This is excluding North Korea, Syria and Iraq, where accurate records do not exist.



In addition, “around 2,400 churches were attacked or damaged, which is over double the number for the previous year.”



“Persecution levels have been rapidly rising. This year, a country had to score 50 per cent more points than in 2013 to even make it onto the list,” said Open Doors CEO Lisa Pearce after releasing the new list on January 13, 2106.



The level of persecution increased even in countries that dropped out of the top 50. “This is a cause of great concern.”



Ted Blake (Director of Open Doors Spain) analyses the 2016 WWL in this interview.



 



LIST OF 2016



In North Korea (1) there are estimated 70,000 Christians imprisoned in labour camps. Others who worship in secret risk death if they are discovered.



Iraq (2) has replaced Somalia (7) as the second most dangerous place to be a Christian.



Eritrea, now nicknamed the ‘North Korea of Africa' due to high levels of dictatorial paranoia, follows at number 3. Afghanistan (4), Syria (5) and Pakistan (6) are next.



The top 20 countries in the 2016 World Watch List are:



1. North Korea



2. Iraq



3. Eritrea



4. Afghanistan



5. Syria



6. Pakistan



7. Somalia



8. Sudan



9. Iran



10. Libya



11. Yemen



12. Nigeria



13. Maldives



14. Saudi Arabia



15. Uzbekistan



16. Kenia



17. India



18. Ethiopia



19. Turkmenistan



20. Vietnam

 



JIHADISM, MAIN CONCERN



According to Open Doors, the violence of Daesh’s (IS) is radicalising Muslims and therefore increasing pressure on Christians in many countries. The state is still a major source of persecution; but increasingly extremism is a cross-border phenomenon.



Persecution has seen the biggest rises in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan and Eritrea. The number of refugees from Afghanistan and Eritrea has increased significantly.



Persecution in each country is recorded by Open Doors using a point system, and while the lowest ranking country in 2013 had 35 points, this year's lowest ranking country had 53 points - an increase of more than 50 per cent.



 



DRAMATIC RISE OF PERSECUTION IN INDIA



Emerging superpower India (17), the second most populous country in the world, has seen persecution levels rise dramatically for the third year running, taking it up to number 17 from a ranking of 31 in 2013.



“Analysis by Open Doors researchers found that the religious freedom of over 200 million people is severely threatened by a new wave of Hindu nationalist electoral successes that have seen the introduction of drastic anti-conversion laws.”



Pastors have been beaten and killed, and members of their congregations forced to convert to Hinduism in an increasing number of attacks across the country. On average a church is burned down or a pastor beaten three times a week.”



 



RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISM IS SPREADING



“Religious fundamentalism has fuelled a rise in persecution in 80 per cent of the countries on the list”, Open Doors reports.



In North Korea and Turkmenistan (19) the population are required to revere their leader. Persecution in countries like Colombia (46) is driven by fundamentalist approaches of Animists and people following tribal religions.



 



ISLAMISM IN SUB-SARAHAN AFRICA



Islamic fundamentalism is most extreme and is rising most sharply in sub-Saharan Africa. More people are killed for their Christian faith here than anywhere else in the world. As fundamentalism in the form of radical Islam spreads across Africa westwards from Somalia, almost every country from Kenya upwards is affected, with only a few exceptions around the Gulf of Guinea. Eritrea (3), Kenya (16) and Ethiopia (18) have all seen sharp rises in persecution levels.



Kenya rose again in the rankings from 19 in 2015 to 16 in 2016 after seeing its worst terrorism in 15 years at Garissa College, near the Somali border. Some 700 students were held by extremists in April 2015 and 147 Christians were slaughtered after being separated out from their fellow Muslim students.



Boko Haram has dominated the headlines with over 2,500 killings in Nigeria (12) this year. An estimated 2.1 million people are internally displaced in Nigeria alone3, driven out by Boko Haram.



Less reported violence against Christian farmers by Hausa Fulani tribesmen has also been extreme with conservative estimates putting it at more than 1,500 killings. Both factions are carrying out religious cleansing, aiming to eradicate Christianity.



 



MIDDLE EAST, A HOTBED OF EXTREMISM



“The Middle East is a hotbed of Islamic extremism forcing millions to flee their homes after violent killings, hostage-taking and extreme violence against women and children”, Open Doors says.



Syria and Iraq dominate the headlines with Libya moving up sharply. Syria is the largest displacement crisis globally. Aleppo was home to 400,000 Christians at the start of the civil war - now Open Doors estimates that less than 60,000 remain with families leaving every day.



 



POLITICIANS WILL DISCUSS NEW FIGURES



The Open Doors 2016 World Watch List detailing the 50 countries with the worst persecution record will be discussed at the United Kingdom House of Commons this afternoon at a cross-party launch. Over 100 MPs have said that they will be attending.





Ted Blake, Director of Open Doors Spain, comments the WWL 2016 in this interview.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - 2016 World Watch List: Jihadism propels dramatic rise in persecution
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Israel, the UN resolution and the long conflict Israel, the UN resolution and the long conflict

Shira Sorko-Ram, pastor and journalist in Israel, shares her views and a historical and biblical context on the latest events.

 
Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe

Is the arrival of thousands of Muslims to Europe a threat to Christianity? What is the growth of evangelical churches in Eastern and Southern Europe? An interview with theologian and Lausanne Movement representative Lindsay Brown.

 
Giovanni Traettino: “Pope Francis is my brother in Christ” Giovanni Traettino: “Pope Francis is my brother in Christ”

Evangelical Focus asked the well-known Pentecostal pastor about his “open” approach to Roman Catholicism. Traettino defended his position about ecumenism during the Italian Evangelical Alliance 2016 assembly (8-9 April, Rome).

 
Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues

The World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General participated in the Italian Evangelical Alliance assembly (Rome, 8-9 April). In this interview with Evangelical Focus, Bp Tendero talks about the need to listen to local churches and to face challenges like the refugee crisis and climate change. 

 
Thomas Bucher: Vision of the EEA Thomas Bucher: Vision of the EEA

Influence in society, evangelical identity and projects in Europe. An interview with Thomas Bucher, secretary general of the European Evangelical Alliance.

 
Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission

“We want to see the youth not just being equipped, but also being multipliers”, Evi Rodemann director of Mission-Net. The European Congress took place in Germany from December 28 to January 2.

 
Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum

Pritchard explains the vision of ELF, comments on the 2015 event in Poland and reflects on what it means to have an "evangelical identity".

 
Pablo Martinez comments on Evangelical Focus’ launch Pablo Martinez comments on Evangelical Focus’ launch

Author and international speaker Dr Pablo Martínez discusses the main challenges in Europe nowadays and hopes Evangelical Focus will be a useful tool to help build bridges between churches and society.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
‘Reconciliation’ in the Basque Country ‘Reconciliation’ in the Basque Country

Bilbao hosted the Spanish Evangelical Alliance's annual meeting (assembly). Politicians, professors and evangelical representatives shared views on social reconciliation. The theme was also analysed from a theological perspective and in workshops. 

 
WPF17: A look at the world’s current issues WPF17: A look at the world’s current issues

A selection of pictures of World Press Photo 2017.

 
‘Progress of Europe, deeply connected to Bible’ ‘Progress of Europe, deeply connected to Bible’

Indian author Vishal Mangalwadi spoke about how the biblical worldview shaped the West. 300 professionals attended annual GBG meeting on faith and work in Cullera (Spain). Photos: J.P. Serrano, S. Vera.

 
Impressions of Lausanne's #ylg2016 Impressions of Lausanne's #ylg2016

Around 1,000 young Christian leaders from 150 countries are participating in the 2016 Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering, to reflect on global mission.

 
“Spain, we pray for you” “Spain, we pray for you”

Hundreds of evangelical Christians from many denominations marched in Madrid (Spain) to pray for their city, the authorities and asking God to bring hope to its society. Many gathered in other cities on June, 11.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Healthy team-building in intercultural mission Healthy team-building in intercultural mission

Insights by Scott Moreau, Associate Dean of Wheaton College Graduate School.

 
How does erotic love feature in the Bible? How does erotic love feature in the Bible?

Richard Winter, Psychotherapist and Professor Emeritus of Covenant Theological Seminary, answers the question.

 
Proverbs 31 Proverbs 31

A powerful video recites Proverbs 31:10-31, from the Bible. Produced by World Relief. 

 
‘You are a… Christian?’ ‘You are a… Christian?’

A clip by Tracey Ullman's Show (BBC, in the UK) gives a humorous approach to how Christians are perceived in the labour market.

 
You-To live-How? You-To live-How?

The Roldan Camacho are a Spanish couple with deafness. They tell us how the whole family experiences everyday life through sign language. A video report by Gabriela Pérez.

 
Philip Yancey interview Philip Yancey interview

An 8-minute interview with Philip Yancey on the role of Christians in a secularised society. Recorded in Madrid, September 2016.

 
An interview with Prof. John Lennox An interview with Prof. John Lennox

New atheism, the definition of "faith", Christianity in Europe, the role of the Bible in mission, and the need to listen more. An exclusive interview recorded at "Forum Apologética" (Tarragona, Spain) in May 2016.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.