Christians in China experienced an unprecedented level of surveillance, control and restrictions of their beliefs within the past year, according to Open Doors’ 2020 World Watch List, which saw the Communist nation rise four spots in the annual ranking of countries that persecute Christians the most.
China jumped from 27 to 23 on the list, driven by the government’s desire to “Sinicize” Christianity and other religions – meaning to make religious beliefs “fall in line” with the government’s interpretation of Communism.
The World Watch List, released annually, lists the 50 most dangerous countries for Christians to live.
North Korea remains No. 1 on the list, followed by Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Eritrea, Sudan, Yemen, Iran and India.
There were at least 5,576 government-approved attacks on churches last year in China, an increase from 171 the previous year.
China is home to an estimated 97,200,000 Christians. They comprise about 6 percent of the population, according to Open Doors’ estimates.
Open Doors is calling China’s persecution of Christians a “human rights nightmare”
“The Chinese government is nearly single-handedly responsible for the steep increase in churches and Christian buildings attacked in 2019,” said David Curry, president and CEO of Open Doors. “Their newest policies are penalizing minority Christians in unprecedented ways. If they continue down this path they will be the single largest violator of human rights worldwide.”
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Source: Christian Headlines