A new report from a U.S. organization revealed that Muslim nations are the top countries where persecutions against Christians occur. The report focuses on the 50 nations that are considered as the most dangerous places for Christians.
The report came from Open Doors, an organization that caters to the global issue of Christian persecution. In the organization's 2016 World Watch List report, North Korea was ranked number one as the worst place for Christians to live in. This is due to the country's communist state which views Christianity or religion as an aspect of Western culture.
However, in the list's top ten nations, North Korea is the only non-Muslim nation where Christians are persecuted. Taking up the ninth to second spots are countries where Islam is the dominant religion.
These include Libya, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Pakistan, Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea and Iraq. According to Open Doors, these are the countries where Islamic extremism is most prevalent. Aside from the well-known groups such as ISIS, other terrorist groups like al-Shabaab and Boko Haram have been identified as the leading culprits behind the abuse, torture, exploitation and killings of Christians, according to the Religion News Service.
Due to the increasing number of persecution cases in different regions, the organization noted that 2015 and 2016 have become the worst years for Christians.
"The level of exclusion, discrimination and violence against Christians is unprecedented, spreading and intensifying," David Curry, the president of Open Doors said in a statement. "The persecution of Christians is a lead indicator of when countries are beginning to tip into chaos."
Curry also said that identifying regions with a high number of cases of Christian persecution is vital in determining the stability of nations.
According to Open Doors, each month, an average of 322 Christians are killed in different places for practicing or upholding their faith while 214 religious structures, including churches, are destroyed. Aside from these 722 cases of violence against Christians are reported each month.
Aside from authoritarian control by the government, such as in the case of North Korea, other factors that contribute to persecution include hostility towards minority or non-traditional groups as well the lack of basic human rights.