Skip to comments.Top 10 Worst Places to Live as a Christian
Posted on 02/06/2008 12:08:18 PM PST by Between the Lines
If you are a Christian, the worst place to live in the world is North Korea, according to Open Doors’ 2008 World Watch List released Monday.
The annual country persecution list ranked North Korea in the No. 1 spot for the sixth year in a row. There were more arrests of Christians in the country in 2007 than in 2006, according to Open Doors.
In North Korea, considered by many the most repressive regime, citizens are strictly banned from worshipping any other gods beside those enforced in the state religion – a personality cult revolving around current dictator Kim Jong Il, and his deceased father, Kim Il Sung.
Moreover, Christianity is considered a serious threat to the regime’s power and there are many reports of Christians being publicly executed, tortured or imprisoned indefinitely simply because of the discovery of their faith.
It is estimated that there are at least 200,000 underground Christians and up to 400,000 to 500,000 believers secretly practicing their faith in North Korea. At least a quarter of the Christians are imprisoned for their faith in political prison camps, from which people rarely get out alive, according to an Open Doors local source.
“It is certainly not a shock that North Korea is No. 1 on the shame list for the sixth year in a row,” said Carl Moeller, President/CEO of Open Doors USA. “There is no other country in the world where Christians are being persecuted in such a horrible and systematic manner.”
In second place behind North Korea is the kingdom of Saudi Arabia where fundamentalist Wahabbi Islam dominates society and oppresses believers. Under the kingdom’s strict interpretation of Islamic law, apostasy (conversion to another religion) is punishable by death if the accused does not recant.
Following close behind in third is Mideast neighbor Iran. Although Christians are officially recognized as a religious minority, believers regularly face discrimination and persecution.
Islam is the predominant religion in six of the top 10 countries: Saudi Arabia, Iran, Maldives, Afghanistan, Yemen and Uzbekistan.
This year, several countries moved up in the list including Bhutan (No. 5, up from No. 7), but mainly due to Somalia and Yemen’s decrease in persecution.
Afghanistan also rose from No. 10 to No. 7 due to the South Korean Christian hostage drama last summer as well as other events that contributed to its worsening persecution status.
Two new countries were added to the 2008 list: Uzbekistan at No. 9, up from No. 11, and China at No. 10, up from No. 12 last year.
Three of the top 10 countries – North Korea, Laos and China – have communist governments. Bhutan is the only Buddhist country on the list.
Improvement in human rights occurred in Somalia (from No. 4 to 12), Vietnam (from No. 8 to 17), Burma (from No. 19 to 25), Ethiopia (from No. 37 to 43) and Colombia (from No. 43 to 50).
The World Watch List ranks countries based on the intensity of persecution Christians face for actively pursuing their faith. The list is compiled based on answers to 50 questions covering various aspects of religious freedom from Open Doors’ indigenous contacts, field workers and persecuted believers.
Open Doors encourages Christians to join its prayer campaign for North Korea and participate in North Korea Freedom Week, April 27 - May 3.
2008 World Watch List
1. North Korea 2. Saudi Arabia 3. Iran 4. Maldives 5. Bhutan 6. Yemen 7. Afghanistan 8. Laos 9. Uzbekistan
My neighborhood didn't make the Top Ten list.
North Korea beat Saudi Arabia? Wow.
Stan’s Fag Disco. Seattle.
Any place there is an ACLU office.
It depends on where you live in Saudi Arabia. An Ex-pat living in a Aramco compound would have it easy compared to a Christian in North Korea.
There is a small, but prominent Armenian Christian community in Iran. They are even allowed alcohol (and are therefore active selling booze on the black market) for personal use.
If I’m reading this right, then nine of the top ten countries on this list are either run by jihadist murderers or commie bastards.
Seeing that Ethiopia is supposed to be a chr*stian country it’s strange to see it on this list.
10. Washington state.
Depends on how you look at it. The U.S. and Europe may be worse. If you are a Christian in one of those lands, you really have to decide what’s important.
Ethiopia is mostly Christian, but also 1/3 Muslim.
Were you worried because you live in Berkley or Dearborn?
Sorry, I forgot where you are. You have a legitimate worry where you are.
The EPRDF views the traditional Monophysite church of Ethiopia as a reactionary force and seeks to eliminate its infleunce on public life.
Which generally means that the police beat the living stuff out of Ethiopian clergy on a regular basis, break up any public liturgical activity, etc.
Actually, I think where I am has more freedom and more Christians than Berkeley does. ;-)
Well, Robert Welch (founder of the JBS) thought Ethiopia was a Communist country under Haile Selassie and that the reds controlled it mostly through the Ethiopian Church. Of course, John Birchers can't be taken seriously, but the Church and the Imperial Family were implicated to a certain extent in the proto-leftist civil rights movement.
I suppose the EPRDF doesn't look on islam as equally reactionary?
Massachusetts also didn’t make the list. Yes!
Afghanistan also rose from No. 10 to No. 7...
Yeh, America has really brought liberty to the Afghani people ... </sarc>
Stay safe. I pray every night for all Americans in harm's way - including those in Berkeley. :-|
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