The religious persecution watchdog Open Doors recently released their annual “World Watch List”, and it contains some startling numbers. According to the report, the number of Christians experiencing “high levels of persecution” increased by 6% last year. That means in the top 50 countries on the list, nearly 260 million Christians are being persecuted for their faith.
There was also a significant increase in the number of Christians detained or imprisoned for their faith—2,625 to 3,711 year over year. Perhaps the most shocking number though is the increase in the number of “churches or Christian buildings” that have been destroyed: 9,488 during the 2019 reporting period, compared to 1,266 in the 2018 report. Though the number of Christians killed for their faith dropped slightly, it still came out to about eight deaths every day.
North Korea topped the list of countries responsible for Christian persecution — for the 18th straight year — and was followed by Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Eritrea, Sudan, Yemen, Iran and India.
You can view the full report here.