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8 years ago
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Dear Donna,

It’s eye opening to learn that so many places in the world lack basic religious freedom. In several countries, when a person converts to Christianity, it’s guaranteed that he or she will face extreme consequences…often torture, prison, and even death.

Open Doors compiles the yearly World Watch List
to provide information and details for the top 50 persecuted countries. It is our hope that this list will open the eyes of many to the reality of persecution.

Free Download: World Watch List
Learn about the top 50 countries

We encourage you now to take a pledge
to be on World Watch for persecuted Christians—and to ask your friends and family to do the same. By pledging, you commit yourself to being knowledgeable as well as prayerful about the suffering that takes place daily for the sake of Christ.

United in prayer with you,

Carl Moeller
Open Doors USA


Make the Pledge Online & Download the World Watch List

8 years ago
ICC's 2011 Hall of Shame Report
Washington, D.C. (January 7, 2011) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has released its annual Hall of Shame report, a list of the globe’s worst persecutors of Christians in 2010.

Islamic fundamentalism has replaced Communism as today’s number one persecutor of Christians. Iraq and Egypt have been added to the list this year due to a substantial increase in anti-Christian violence. One of 2010’s worst attacks occurred in a Baghdad church on October 31 and left more than 50 worshippers dead. The next day, Al-Qaeda declared Christians throughout the Middle East as legitimate targets for the Mujahedin, or Holy Warriors. Since the declaration, Christians have been murdered almost weekly and thousands of Iraqi Christians have fled their homes, adding to the largest exodus of Christians in modern history.

Egypt, more than any country outside of Iraq, has suffered the most from the Al-Qaeda threat. Religious tensions were inflamed early this year when six Coptic Christians in Naga Hammadi were shot dead in January. Anti-Christian demonstrations – inflamed by Muslim propaganda – followed. On November 24th, Egyptian security opened fire with live ammunition on Christian protestors in Giza, killing two people. The attacks on Copts have continued into the new year. On January 1, a suicide bomber murdered 21 Christians outside a church in Alexandria.

The other countries ranked in this year’s report remain on the top persecutor list from last year, having made little to no progress in religious freedom. They include North Korea, Eritrea, Pakistan, Iran, Somalia, India, Vietnam, Nigeria and China.

Jeff King, ICC’s president, said, "In compiling the report, it was striking to see the rate at which Christian persecution has accelerated around the globe, especially in the Islamic world. Anti-Christian hatred arising from Islam has flowed into 2011, as seen in the horrific attacks in Egypt, Pakistan and Iraq already this year. Constant vigilance is needed in the struggle to defend the fundamental human right of religious freedom. Those of us fortunate to live in countries that grant religious freedom must not forget nor neglect the plight of Christians who are condemned by extremist ideology or government tyranny to suffer – or die – for their faith."
The report is in PDF format, and can be found on ICC's website,, or it can be accessed directly here. (

For interviews, contact Jeff King, ICC President, at 1-800-422-5441
7 years ago

Over the next 10 weeks Open Doors will host a countdown of the top ten countries on the 2011 World Watch List (WWL). Due to the recent political and social instability in the last few months, we will go against the “norm” and begin the countdown with the country listed in the eleventh position, Pakistan.
Read More

7 years ago
Top 10 Countries
  1. North Korea
    North Korea

  2. Iran

  3. Afghanistan

  4. Saudi Arabia
    Saudi Arabia

  5. Somalia

  1. Maldives

  2. Yemen

  3. Iraq

  4. Uzbekistan

  5. Laos

7 years ago

Stories from the Persecuted:

Islamic extremists killed a Christian lawyer, his wife and their five children in northwestern Pakistan for mounting a legal challenge against a Muslim who was charging a Christian exorbitant interest.

Police found the bodies of attorney and evangelist Edwin Paul and his family at their home in Haripur, a small town near Abbotabad in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province (previously known as the North-West Frontier Province).

The victim and his wife Ruby Paul, along with their five children ages 6 to 17, had been shot to death.

A group of armed men stopped Paul and took him by the collar and said, “Leave the town in 24 hours we know how to throw out Christians, we will not allow even a single Christian to live here. We will hang them all in the streets, so that no Christian would ever dare to enter the Hazara land.”

A group of armed men stopped Paul and took him by the collar and said, “Leave the town in 24 hours we know how to throw out Christians, we will not allow even a single Christian to live here. We will hang them all in the streets, so that no Christian would ever dare to enter the Hazara land.”

Share your thoughts and pray with us


Iranian Flag

Leader: President Asif Ali Zardari
Population: 180 million
Main Religion: Islam
Government: Republic


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7 years ago
LAOS 5:49 AM

Stories from the Persecuted:

Within the first few months of 2010, more than 50 believers were harassed, threatened, imprisoned or expelled from their villages.

One believer in the north was evicted from his village when he became a follower of Christ. In the community where he resettled, he brought 50 people to Christ and they started to meet every Sunday for worship. Last year, he and his nephew attempted to return to their old village. While on their way, the police arrested them. Both remain in prison and are not permitted to see anyone. 

Soon after that, a Christian in the Northern Province put together a Christmas event, during which 20 people in his village gave their lives to Christ. He was put in prison and has been locked up ever since without visitation rights.

In the Southern Province, a man was put in prison for refusing to recant his faith in Jesus. It started when he led his family and relatives to salvation in Jesus. Authorities threatened to kick him out of the village if he did not stop sharing the Gospel. He was summoned three times to the village chief’s office, and each time he was pressured to sign a form stating his denial of Christ, but he refused. A week later, he was incarcerated in the district jail and he is not allowed to receive visitors.

Share your thoughts and pray with us


Iranian Flag

Leader: President Choummaly Sayasone
Population: 6.4 million
Christian: 3.1%
Main Religion: Buddhism
Government: Communist state

Join us on World Watch

7 years ago

2011 World Watch List Ranking:         1
Leader:                                                 Kim Jong-Il 
Population:                                          22.7 million
Majority religion:                                All religions harshly suppressed 
Type of government:                          Communist dictatorship

North Korea is a country in complete crisis, and where persecution of Christians is the most severe in the world. Famine holds vast swathes of the nation in its grip, and untold thousands live in poverty and misery. The populace are kept ignorant of the outside world and forciblay indoctrinated into “Juche”—a bizarre ideology focusing on the self-sufficiency of man, which teaches that the trinity consists of the father (deceased leader Kim Il-Sung), son (current leader Kim Jong-Il) and the “Juche spirit” of self-reliance. Christians in North Korea are forced to keep their faith secret—those who are discovered face torture, labor camp and even death.

Please pray:

  • For strength and courage for the estimated 50,000 believers currently languishing in North Korea’s prison camps.
  • For safe printing and distribution of Bibles to Christians in North Korea.
  • For outreach work amongst North Korean defectors who’ve escaped to China’s border areas, that many will respond to the hope and truth of the gospel.
7 years ago


Double Miracle for Iranian Secret Believer

Double Miracle for Iranian Secret Believer

When Iranian convert, Sarah, was shot in the neck by robbers some years ago, medics did not expect her to survive. But today, by God’s grace, Sarah is still living for Christ in Iran—ranked #2 on the new Open Doors World Watch List.

Read More

7 years ago

Stories from the Persecuted:

Lee* had spent many long years in a North Korean labor camp because he had been discovered listening to a Christian merchant sharing the gospel message. As a wealthy man with a high-ranked position, Lee knew the Christian faith was strictly forbidden. But he did not deny his secret attempts to learn more about it.

He served out his sentence in prison; forced to work day and night with very little food. He still had nightmares about his time at the labor camp, which he described as “a living hell.”

Although Lee was fortunate to come out alive, he had nowhere to go. For the first time in his life he was penniless and starving. So he risked his life to cross the river into China, seeking freedom and food.

Along the way, Lee met a Christian who learned that Lee was experiencing acute pain. He was burdened to pray for Lee, and later learned that he was suffering from a long-term kidney stone that needed immediate treatment."

When Lee went to the doctor, the diagnosis was even worse than expected. In fact, an even larger kidney stone was discovered deep within his kidneys, requiring two separate operations."

Lee and his Christian friend decided to pray. After they finished praying at 3 a.m., Lee explained that he had felt something hard inside his kidney softening, turning into something like flour as it flowed downwards."

The next day, Lee went back to the doctors. “The doctors could not hide their astonishment,” he said. “Their diagnosis revealed that the first large kidney stone had been ground into fine powder and settled at the bottom, just as I had described his experience during prayer.”

After experiencing God’s miraculous healing, Lee now hopes to return to his hometown in North Korea and share with his family that God indeed exists and has miraculously healed him."

*Not real name to protect identity

share your thougths and pray with us

7 years ago
World’s Worst Religious Persecutors: Doug Bandow, an expert in International Religious Freedom, published an article last week about countries that persecute their religious minorities. Bandow states that the measurement of a government’s legitimacy is largely found in whether it protects basic human rights, at the heart of which lies religious liberty. He proceeds to summarize the abuses of the worst religious persecutors in the world—countries like North Korea, Eritrea, Nigeria, Iran, and China. The article concludes by stressing that a free nation like the United States must denounce persecution abroad and tenaciously defend religious liberty at home. Read the article>> 

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