Christian persecution around the world is a growing problem, says a new report from an agency that documents abuses against Christians across the globe.
Worldwide, the report states, 260 million Christians are facing persecution. This marks a 6% increase from the previous year.
The annual report from Open Doors, released on Jan. 15, rank-ed North Korea first on its list of 50 most dangerous countries in which to be Christian, the 18th straight year that the country has received that designation.
There are an estimated 300,000 Christians amidst the total population of 25.4 million in North Korea. Open Doors reports that if North Korean Christians are discovered, the government will deport them to labor camps as political criminals or even kill them on the spot. Meeting other Christians to worship is nearly impossible unless it is done in complete secrecy.
Following North Korea on the World Watch List Top 10 are Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Eritrea, Sudan, Yemen, Iran, and India.
Christians in China experienced, among other things, an increase in attacks on churches in the past year. Open Doors reports that 793 churches were attacked within the reporting period for the 2018 World Watch List, compared with 1,847 attacks reported on churches world-wide in 2019. In 2020, the numb-er is conservatively estimated to be at least 5,576 in China alone, the report states.
People of faith also suffer from continual surveillance by the government. Open Doors cites a CNBC report that says there are nearly half a billion surveillance cameras in China, a number only expected to grow.