Open Doors USA has published its 2019 World Watch List of the top 50 countries in the world where Christians face the most extreme persecution for their faith.
While many of the top 10 countries listed this year were also on 2018’s list, a significant addition was India, due to the rise in Hindu radical attacks on Christians.
“The world’s two most highly populated countries rise on the World Watch List. For the first time since the start of the World Watch List, India has entered the top 10. Additionally, China jumped 16 spots, from 43 to 27,” the persecution watchdog group observed.
“Each of these countries is home to more than a billion people, so these trends are distressing. Hindu nationalists in India continue to attack Christians with what seems like no consequences, and in China, the increased power of the government and the rule of Xi Jinping continue to make open worship difficult in some parts of the country,” it added.
Looking at the numbers, 245 million Christians in the top 50 countries in the World Watch List are expected to face high levels of persecution in the coming year, which is an increase from the 215 million projected last year.
As many as 4,136 Christians were murdered last year because of their faith, while 1,266 churches or Christian buildings were attacked.
North Korea was listed at the very top of the World Watch List for the 17th-consecutive year, with Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Sudan, Eritrea, Yemen, Iran, and India rounding up the top 10.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Stoyan Zaimov