N. Korea Remains on Top of Persecution List

Feb 12, 2003 08:27 PM EST

The annual list of Open Doors World Watch List identified North Korea as the number one country where Christians are persecuted. The list ranks countries according to the intensity of persecution Christians face for dynamically pursuing Christian faith.

Saudi Arabia holds the second spot on the list followed by Vietnam. Those three countries are noted as countries where “severe persecution” is taking place. Other countries listed in the WWL’s Top Ten include: Laos, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Bhutan, Maldives, Somalia and Iran. China is listed 11th.

“Imagine how nearly impossible it is for Christians to survive, and the Christian faith to grow in North Korea as it again ranks first in the hall of shame of countries repressing the free expression of Christianity,” says Terry Madison, president/CEO of Open Doors USA. “And yet, despite its cruel punishment and death to believers, indications are that the Church in North Korea continues to grow despite the best efforts of the government to destroy the Church.”

Madison also appeal to Christians to lift up the needs of our brothers and sisters in North Korea in prayer as well as millions of other believers in countries on the World Watch List.

Nos. 11-25 on the World Watch list are: China, Afghanistan, Myanmar (Burma), Sudan, Azerbaijan, Yemen, Comoros, Uzbekistan, Egypt, Colombia (conflict areas), Nigeria (north), Cuba, Iraq, Qatar and Libya.

Rounding out the list are Nos. 26-50: Brunei, Morocco, Tunisia, Russian Federation (the Muslim republics of Chechnya, Kabardino, Balkarya and Dagestan), Mexico (southern state of Chiapas), Indonesia, Tajikistan, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Kurdistan, Algeria, India, Mauritania, Djibouti, Nepal, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Eritrea, Kuwait, Syria, Malaysia, Ethiopia, Bahrain, Belarus and Jordan.

Ranking of the World Watch List is based on evaluations and testimonies obtained by Open Doors indigenous contacts, field workers and from actual members of the Persecuted Church.

An estimated 200 million of Christians worldwide, according to Open Doors, suffer persecution for their faith in Christ, with another 200 to 400 million facing discrimination for being Christian.

At present, visible practice of Christianity in North Korea can still result in imprisonment and death.

By Y.Hilado, ChToday Philippines
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