A New Perpetrator Has Toppled North Korea as Country Most Dangerous to Be a Christian

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There is a new top perpetrator of religious persecution, according to Open Doors’ 2022 World Watch List. For the past 20 years, North Korea has appeared at No. 1 on the annual list, which ranks the top 50 countries where it is most difficult and dangerous to be a Christian. However, Open Doors leadership indicates that though North Korea’s religious freedom violations have not improved, conditions have significantly worsened elsewhere in the world, causing a shift in ranking.

On Jan. 19, Open Doors USA made its sobering announcement of what leadership describes as “the most seismic changes” seen in World Watch List history. Afghanistan has now moved to the top of the list.

The World Watch List is a highly anticipated, frequently cited resource for policy makers concerning global religious persecution. President and CEO David Curry, along with Ambassador Sam Brownback, senior fellow at Open Doors USA, has called for bipartisan action.

Curry said, “For more than 20 years, Open Doors’ World Watch List has given us a clear and current picture of religious freedom conditions. But this year’s findings indicate seismic changes in the persecution landscape—and challenge the United States to take action that, according to the report’s conclusions, has never been more critical.”


In the online press conference, Curry announced Open Doors’ 2022 World Watch List and released new statistics indicating startling changes in religious freedom landscape worldwide. The event also included expert commentary and horrific first-person accounts. {eoa}

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