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REX/ZUMA
World News

Charity names worst persecutors of Christians

The organisation's World Watch List has been revealed among concerns persecution is increasing in more countries and with more intensity than ever before.

For the 13th year in a row, North Korea has come out on top of the organisation's World Watch List however statistics shows that Somalia is at risk of becoming as bad and is ranked a close second.

The charity has major concerns for Christians in the Middle East who are having to deal with a rise in Islamic extremism. In places like Iraq and Syria hundreds of thousands have had to flee homes.

The World Watch List is also highlighting issues in countries where persecution has not historically been an issue - in parts of Asia, Latin America, and especially sub-Saharan Africa.

Speaking about the report, CEO of Open Doors Lisa Pearce said: "This report portrays a devastating picture of what is happening to the church around the globe - the worst ever since this detailed research began.

"The rate of increase in persecution of Christians in the last year is shocking, and what will happens in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa in the next 3-5 years will define the future shape of the church.

"Urgent action is now required by both the church and state in the UK and Ireland. We cannot afford to sleep through it."

The list has also highlighted some good news with the charity witnessing what it calls 'unprecedented unity' among different religious groups across the Middle East.

The full list can be found here.

Listen to Lisa Pearce speaking on the News Hour with Premier's Antony Bushfield:

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