West indian countries

Find out in which countries it is most dangerous to be a Christian – The Oxford Spokesperson

An Indian Christian woman lights candles during Christmas prayers at St. Mary’s Basilica in Bangalore, India, December 25 | Photo: EFE/Jagadeesh Lv

Afghanistan has overtaken North Korea to become the country where Christians are most persecuted for their faith, according to the 2022 Open Doors Global Rankings, released Wednesday.

North Korea held the top spot in the rankings for 20 years and now sits in second place. This does not mean that the persecution of Christians has diminished under Kim Jong-un’s dictatorship, on the contrary, “it has also increased to extreme levels”, says Open Doors. But Afghanistan has become the most dangerous place for Christians after the Taliban’s rise to power.

The document reveals that the lives of many Christians continue to be increasingly difficult. Today, one in seven Christians is persecuted in the world. In total, more than 360 million followers of Christianity are subject to pressure and violence in several countries – an increase of 20 million from the previous year, according to the organization.

This is the highest level of persecution of Christians on record since the list began to be published in 1993. Not only has the number of people affected increased, but the acts of violence have intensified.

Killings of Christians for their faith rose from 4,761 recorded in the 2021 report to 5,898 in the 2022 list. Most of these crimes took place in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in Nigeria.

The World Watch List is published by Open Doors at the beginning of each year (see the full ranking at the end of the article). The researchers analyze the persecution which involves pressure (insults, threats, discrimination, hostilities, etc.) and violent incidents (assassinations, attacks, arrests, etc.). Each country receives a score and the 50 with the most points enter the list.


In Afghanistan, as in North Korea, Christians can only profess their faith in secret. After the capture of Kabul by the Taliban, many Christians who could not flee or who preferred to stay in the country today live “hidden, in a parallel world, in hiding, moving from place to place. the other. the other”, explains Marco Cruz, General Secretary of Open Portes Brazil.

“In Afghanistan, if the Christian is discovered, the consequence is death,” Cruz said. He says there are reports that the Taliban have information about Christians living in the country, so they must go into hiding.

“The Taliban have an understanding of Islamic law in its most radical form. They believe that every Christian is an infidel and that infidels should be expelled from the country,” he said.

In a country where almost the entire population is Muslim, Christians are under the pressure of daily life because they are not fully integrated into society.

One of the challenges is the difficult access to health and other services, for example. “[Os muçulmanos] pay a religious fee, which includes access to health care. Since Christians do not pay these fees, their access to health care is not guaranteed,” explains Cruz.

Cuba joins the ranking

Cuba and Niger are the two new countries in the current ranking. The Castro dictatorship entered the list due to the increase in restrictive measures towards churches that took a stand against the ideology and actions of the communist regime, informs Portas Abertas.

The country was previously on the list and appears this year in 37th position. Amid the biggest protests against the regime in decades, Christian leaders have been surveilled, arrested, had their property confiscated and extorted, according to the investigation.

“In Cuba, there is constant surveillance by the government. In the church there are always spies,” explains Cruz, who has been to the country before. “The dictatorial regime intensified its actions against Christian leaders and activists who opposed communist principles.”

According to the director of the NGO, the main source of persecution against Christians is the government and its informers. After the July 2021 protests, the regime adopted more authoritarian measures and increased surveillance of Christians, including denials of licenses for religious services and arbitrary fines.

Hindu nationalism in India

In India too, there has been an increase in intolerance and acts of violence against those who profess the Christian faith. The country ranks 10th among the countries most hostile to Christians and is responsible for the highest number of arbitrary arrests of Christians, according to the survey.

“India is going through a process of “Hinduization” of the country. There is a speech, [primeiro-ministro] Narendra Modi and his BJP party, which hates minorities, including Christians and Muslims. Christians face hostilities because they don’t practice the Hindu faith,” Cruz says.

He explains that the country’s Christians face a “double vulnerability” during the Covid-19 pandemic. “In addition to being persecuted for their faith, they do not have access to emergency government aid,” he explains. Indeed, emergency aid (baskets, medicines, masks and other protective items) is sent to local leaders. In smaller and more remote communities, where there is often only one Christian family, Hindu leaders do not pass on emergency aid to Christians.

Additionally, Cruz has heard reports in India of Christian doctors and nurses being sent to treat the most critical coronavirus cases without receiving personal protective equipment.

The 2022 World Cup host is on the list

Qatar, the country that will host the World Cup – and therefore Christians everywhere – in November 2022, occupies the 18th position in the Open Doors ranking. The Christians who live there are foreigners working in the country. As a result, they are freer to live their faith, although they also face pressures, the report says.

The Arabian Peninsula country moved up 11 spots on this year’s list due to increased violence against followers of Christ. The risks are greatest for ex-Christian Muslims in Qatar. Foreigners, on the other hand, have more freedom of worship, “as long as they do so in a way that the government tolerates”, specifies the organization.


The World Persecution List ranks countries according to the level of persecution experienced by Christians: extreme, severe, high or variable. According to the 2021 ranking, there are no “high” levels of persecution among the top 50 countries, only “severe” and “extreme”.

Open Doors is an international Christian organization founded by a Dutch missionary in 1955 and active in over 60 countries supporting churches that suffer from persecution.

This year’s survey covers the period from October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021. Check out the full list:

extreme persecution

Countrytype of oppression1AfghanistanIslamic Oppression2North KoreaCommunist and Post-Communist Oppression3SomaliaIslamic Oppression4LibyaIslamic Oppression5YemenIslamic Oppression6EritreaDictatorialparanoia7NigeriaIslamic Oppression8PakistanIslamic Oppression9IranIslamic Oppression10Islamic Oppression6EritreaDictatorial Paranoia7NigeriaIslamic Oppression8PakistanIslamic Oppression7

severe persecution

12MianmarNacionalismo religioso13SudãoOpressão islâmica14IraqueOpressão islâmica15SíriaParanoia ditatorial16MaldivasOpressão Communist islâmica17ChinaOpressão and islâmica19VietnãOpressão post comunista18QatarOpressão communist and post-comunista20EgitoOpressão islâmica21UzbequistãoParanoia ditatorial22ArgéliaOpressão islâmica23MauritâniaOpressão islâmica24MaliOpressão islâmica25TurcomenistãoParanoia Communist ditatorial26LaosOpressão and post-comunista27MarrocosOpressão islâmica28IndonésiaOpressão islâmica29BangladeshParanoia ditatorial30ColômbiaCorrupção and central organizado31República crime AFricanaOpressão islâmica32Burkina FasoOpressão islâmica33NígerOpressão islâmica34ButãoNacionalismo religioso35TunísiaOpressão islâmica36OmãOpressão islâmica37CubaParanoia ditatorial38EtiópiaProtecionismo denominacional39JordâniaOpressão islâmica40República Democratic CongoOpressão islamica41MozambiqueIslamic oppression42TurkeyIslamic oppression43MexicoCorruption and organized crime44 Cameroon Islamic oppression mica45TajikistanDictatorialParanoia46BruneiIslamic oppression47KazakhstanDictatorialParanoia48NepalReligious nationalism49KuwaitIslamic oppression50MalaysiaIslamic oppression

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