World Watch List Countries

World Watch List Countries

Christianity in North Korea

1. North Korea

 2100 465
 
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, North Korea tops the World Watch List yet again as the worst country in the world in which to live as a Christian. Continue reading
Christianity in Afghanistanan

2. Afghanistan

 105 46
 
All Afghan Christians come from a Muslim background. Believers who are discovered face discrimination from family and community, Muslim clergy and local authorities. The government treats converts in a hostile manner, using any means possible to make them recant. The … Continue reading
Christianity in Saudi Arabia

3. Saudi Arabia

 435 123
 
There is no freedom of religion here. The legal system is based on Islamic law and conversion to another religion is punishable by death if the accused does not recant. Non-Muslim public worship is prohibited, and although the government recognizes … Continue reading
Christianity in Somalia

4. Somalia

 96 39
 
No one is expected to be a Christian in Somalia, so there is no organized church. Muslim converts exist as individual secret believers, and can only know a few others to make a small underground group. The largest known group … Continue reading
Christianity in Iran

5. Iran

 196 71
 
Ethnic Persians are by definition Muslim, so ethnic Christian converts are considered apostates. Almost all Christian activity is illegal – from evangelism to Bible training to publishing Christian books. Many church services are monitored by the secret police. The governor of … Continue reading
Christianity in Maldives

6. Maldives

 210 67
 
Every citizen has to be Muslim on these remote islands. The Maldivian government views itself as the protector and defender of Islam and enjoys full support by its citizens. Churches are forbidden, evangelism is banned and the import of Christian … Continue reading
Christianity in Uzbekistan

7. Uzbekistan

 284 178
 
The strict monitoring of all Christian activities has intensified, even in the Orthodox Church. Outreach, training and youth activities are forbidden in unregistered churches – and in the last ten years only one new church was granted registration. Private Bible … Continue reading
Christianity in Yemen

8. Yemen

 213 62
 
Islam is the state religion and source of legislation. The few hundred Christians from a Muslim background meet secretly as they face persecution from authorities, family and extremist Islamic groups. In the north, no church buildings are allowed. There is … Continue reading
Christianity in Iraq

9. Iraq

 273 94
 
Sectarian violence caused tens of thousands of Christians to leave the country in 2011. Christians feel that the government fails to protect them, with individuals being threatened, robbed, raped or kidnapped and churches being bombed. Iraq’s constitution says each individual … Continue reading
Christianity in Pakistan

10. Pakistan

 130 54
 
Christians are a beleaguered minority caught between Islamic militant organizations that routinely target them for violence and an Islamic culture that discriminates against them. Death threats are routine for church leaders, beatings are common, and damage to church property occurs … Continue reading
Christianity in Eritrea

11. Eritrea

 487 117
 
All evangelical churches were closed following the government’s ban on all religious groups other than state-approved Orthodox, Catholic, Lutheran or Islamic groups in 2002. Anyone discovered to be an evangelical is tortured and forced to revert to the registered denominations. … Continue reading
Christianity in Laos

12. Laos

 192 38
 
The government exercises tight control on all parts of society. Small independent congregations are under pressure and have been refused recognition. Local authorities regard them as enemies; Buddhist leaders and village shamans also watch them closely. Most believers are ethnic … Continue reading
Christianity in Nigeria

13. Northern Nigeria

 131 19
 
Persecution of Christians is driven by Islamic extremists. In the Sharia states of the north,there have been many attacks on churches and Christian communities in which believers were wounded or killed. In the last year, an estimated total of 1,000 … Continue reading
Christianity in Mauritania

14. Mauritania

 92 21
 
Isolated from the rest of the world because of its mainly desert landscape and because it is ruled by an oppressive regime, Mauritania is very proud to officially be a pure Muslim country. The constitution does not include any provisions … Continue reading
Christianity in Egypt

15. Egypt

 100 22
 
Since the revolution of January 2011, levels of violence against Christians have increased. Salafi Muslim attacks on churches led to the massacre at Maspero where the military did nothing to protect Christians and even participated in the killings. In rural … Continue reading
Christianity in Sudan

16. Sudan

 63 17
 
Religious freedom is severely restricted by government and society. Islamic groups, wanting to form an Islamic state, persecute the church. Conversion is not recognized: believers from a Muslim background are treated as if they are Muslims. Following South Sudan’s secession … Continue reading
Christianity in Bhutan

17. Bhutan

 63 12
 
As the country moves from an absolute to a constitutional monarchy, the situation is likely to change for believers. The church in Bhutan is no longer an underground church, since Christians are allowed to meet in private homes without any … Continue reading
Christianity in Turkmenistan

18. Turkmenistan

 43 9
 
All unregistered religious activity is strictly illegal here and obtaining church registration can be difficult, if not impossible. Police and the secret services monitor Christian activities. This strict surveillance makes it difficult for churches to teach the gospel. The local … Continue reading
Christianity in Vietnam

19. Vietnam

 108 45
 
The authorities keep a close eye on all Christian activities in the country. Church leaders are closely monitored and Christians are routinely questioned by security police, especially when they witness to others. In tribal areas, village and religious leaders report … Continue reading
Christianity in Chechnya

20. Chechnya

 70 16
 
Still formally a part of the Russian Federation, Chechnya remains one of the most difficult places for Christians in Russia. Persecution is political as well as religious, since Christianity is associated with Russia, with whom they had civil war. The … Continue reading
Christianity in China

21. China

 123 48
 
Christianity continues to grow rapidly. Sources report that government representatives have been in dialogue with some house church leaders, leading many to believe the government has finally understood the house church is not a political threat to the state. Yet … Continue reading
Christianity in Qatar

22. Qatar

 137 32
 
Nearly all Qataris are Muslims and most Christians in the country are foreign workers. The constitution protects religious freedom, but expat Christians can usually only meet in assigned compounds. During 2011, several foreign workers were deported for their Christian activities. … Continue reading
Christianity in Algeria

23. Algeria

 33 10
 
Protests against the regime in January 2011 left five dead and over 800 injured, but the government remains in control. The church, mostly first-generation believers from a Muslim background, faces many forms of discrimination. There were reports of churches being … Continue reading
Christianity in Comoros

24. Comoros

 60 14
 
Persecution on these islands comes mainly from the indigenous Muslim community, although government restraints remain tight. A referendum passed in 2009 installed Islam as the state religion and seriously restricted religious freedom. Only expats are allowed to operate churches. Converts … Continue reading
Christianity in Azerbaijan