This year Open Doors is asking churches and small groups in Australia and New Zealand to participate in A Dedicated Faith. We want to see Muslims who are seeking God, find who He truly is and come learn the truth about Jesus. We also want to uplift Christians living in Islamic countries throughout Ramadan.
Ramadan, an opportune time…
Ramadan is a month in the Islamic calendar running from 6 June – 5 July. During these 30 days, Muslims will fast during sunlight hours, and pray in order to get closer to Allah. Muslim’s believe that it was during Ramadan that the first revelations of the Quran were made to Muhammad.
North Korea ranked number one
North Korea – Watch tower as seen from the Yalu river
North Korea ranks number one for the 14th consecutive year in the Open Doors World Watch List, ranking the top 50 countries that persecute Christians. The Hermit Kingdom has ranked number one again as leader Kim Jong Un continues to try and stamp out organised religion in what he views as a challenge to his power. Continue reading
History of the World Watch List
On 15 July 1955, a young Dutch Christian man called Andrew took the train to a mass communist convention in Warsaw, Poland. In his suitcase, he carried booklets, titled ‘The Way of Salvation’, to make sure that he could share the Gospel in the midst of communist rhetoric, oppression and thinking.
A country behind the Iron Curtain, Poland steered towards the end of the severely repressive Stalinist era. In the country, Andrew heard the story of the persecuted Church firsthand. He began telling the story of this persecuted Church back home and supporting them, bringing Bibles in a Volkswagen Beetle. It was the beginning of Open Doors, sixty years later grown into an international ministry serving the persecuted Church around the world.
Nowadays, the World Watch List is Open Doors’ main tool of measuring persecution and listing where Christian faith costs the most. In 1955, such a list did not exist. However, looking back over sixty years of serving the persecuted Church – and with today’s knowledge – what countries could have ended up in a 1955 World Watch List? Continue reading
One important part of our ministry over many recent years has been the annual Open Doors World Watch List. Since 2003, through research conducted by contacts and leaders in the field, Open Doors have ranked the top 50 countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.
Although Open Doors and our supporters have been aware of the suffering faced by Christians for many decades, the past 12 months particularly, have seen a wave of persecution directed at Christian communities making international headlines:
- The Islamic State sweeping across Iraq and the civil war in Syria seeing scores killed and displacing hundreds of thousands of people.
- The April kidnapping of more than 250 girls from the predominately Christian village of Chibok in Nigeria.
- The imprisonment of Christian Meriam Ibrahim in Sudan.
- The brutal November murder of Christian couple Shama Bibi and Shehzad Masih in Pakistan – the list goes on and on.
The Top 10 countries where Christians face the most pressure and violence in 2015 are Continue reading
Nigeria is number 10 on the 2015 Open Doors World Watch List, a list ranking the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted for their faith.
“We are in deep pain over the incessant loss of life. Every day Christian villages are attacked, people are killed and houses belonging to Christians are destroyed. Almost all the Christian villages around Madagali have been deserted. The houses and churches in those villages have all been destroyed,” explains Pastor Peter*, from Gulak in Adamawa State, north eastern Nigeria, where the government has been battling Boko Haram insurgents under a state of emergency since May 2013. Continue reading
An estimated 100 million Christians worldwide are persecuted.
Every year, Open Doors publishes the World Watch List, naming the top 50 countries where Christians are most persecuted. There are over 65 countries where Christians are persecuted for their faith. Here are the top 10 countries where Christians face the most persecution:
- North Korea