For the fourth straight year, the isolated communist nation of North Korea remains atop the 2006 Open Doors “World Watch List” of 50 countries where Christians are persecuted the most.
The annual list ranks countries according to the intensity of persecution Christians face for actively pursuing their faith.
It is believed that tens of thousands of Christians are currently suffering in North Korean prison camps where they face cruel abuses, according to the 2006 World Watch List report. Some think the hermit regime has detained more political and religious prisoners than any other country in the world. Though no exact figures can be given, Open Doors’ staff estimates that hundreds of Christians were killed by the regime in 2005.
“North Korea is the most repressive nation in the world. It certainly deserves its No. 1 ranking on the 2006 World Watch List,” says Open Doors USA President Dr. Carl Moeller. “It breaks my heart to hear some of the atrocities against the people there.”
As a member of the North Korea Freedom Coalition, Open Doors USA is partnering with NKFC during the North Korea Freedom Week April 24-30, 2006, in the United States.
Saudi Arabia holds the second spot on the list for the fourth year in a row. Rounding out the top 10 are Iran, Somalia, Maldives, Bhutan, Yemen, Vietnam, Laos and China. In addition to North Korea, countries with communist governments include Vietnam, Laos and China. Islamic-dominated countries are Saudi Arabia, Iran, Somalia, Maldives and Yemen. Buddhism is the state religion of Bhutan.
For a complete top 50 list and more stories on the World Watch List, go to www.opendoorsusa.org.
An estimated 200 million Christians worldwide suffer interrogation, arrest and even death for their faith in Christ, with another 200 to 400 million facing discrimination and alienation. Open Doors, celebrating 50 years of service to persecuted Christians, serves and strengthens the Persecuted Church in the world’s most difficult areas through Bible and Christian literature distribution, leadership training and assistance, community development, prayer and presence ministry and advocacy on behalf of suffering believers.
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