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Open Doors
Afghanistan WWL Open Doors.jpg
Open Doors
World News

Revealed: The 10 worst countries to live in as a Christian in 2022

by Heather Preston

Persecution charity Open Doors has warned that more Christians around the world are suffering for their faith than ever before. 

Latest figures reveal that over 360 million Christians now experience severe discrimination and mistreatment - a rise of 20 million from last year.

This represents one in seven Christians worldwide - the highest levels of persecution since the charity began publishing results 29 years ago.

Its 2022 World Watch List, which ranks the 50 countries most hostile towards Christians has been released.

Below are the top 10:

1. Afghanistan 

The Muslim nation has now become the worst place in the world to live as a Christian, overtaking North Korea which has remained top of the list for the last 20 years.

Research suggests the 2021 Taliban takeover has significantly contributed to the increased abuse towards Christians there. Believers are hunted down and subjected to torture, slavery, imprisonment and execution for their faith. The situation has led many believers to either flee the country or go into hiding. 

2. North Korea 

Despite moving down on the list, the persecution towards Christians there continues to rise. Religious freedom does not exist in North Korea and if Christians are discovered, they are sent to labour camps as political criminals or killed on the spot. 

3. Somalia 

Christians are explicitly targeted by the terrorist jihadist group, al-Shabaab, often being killed immediately upon discovery. Anyone found to own a Bible or other Christian material is executed.

4. Libya 

Radical Islamist and criminal groups target Christians to exploit, kidnap, rape, enslave and kill, with impunity. When attacks are carried out on Christian converts by family members, it is considered an honour.

5. Yemen 

Christian converts are at risk of honour killings, imprisonment and physical abuse by family members or communities that discover their faith. 

6. Eritrea 

The Eritrean Orthodox, Catholic and Lutheran churches and Sunni Islam are the only recognised faiths in the country. Christian converts or those of different Christian denominations face serious violence, intolerance and discrimination. 

7. Nigeria 

A total of 4,650 Christians have been recorded as killed in the last year - 79 per cent of the worldwide total, while 470 churches there have been closed in the past year. Christians experience violence and oppression at the hand of Islamic extremists and rebel groups - including Boko Haram, the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), Fulani militants and armed 'bandits'. Christians face frequent raids, kidnappings and killings, rapes and forced marriages. 

8. Pakistan 

Blasphemy laws are used to target Pakistan's Christian community. Girls and young women continue to be abducted, forcefully married and converted. All Christians suffer discrimination and are only granted occupations seen as low and dirty by the authorities.

9. Iran

Christian converts from Islam experience grave religious freedom violations. Leaders and members of Christian house churches are arrested, prosecuted and given long prison sentences for 'crimes against national security'.

10. India

The number of violent attacks towards Christians has increased dramatically since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came into power. 'Anti-forced-conversion' laws are misused to punish Christians by falsely accusing them.

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