World Watch List Reveals Increasing Christian Persecution

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According to the World Watch List 2023, Open Doors’ annual ranking of the 50 countries where Christians face the most extreme persecution, more than 360 million Christian suffered high levels of persecution and discrimination for their faith worldwide.

A List of Christian Persecution Worldwide

Open Doors’ mission is to ensure that persecuted Christians do not suffer alone – but are connected to the worldwide church for support and encouragement. Since 1993, the World Watch List has revealed the scale and severity of the persecution of Christians. In the last 30 years, the number of countries where Christians suffer high and extreme levels of persecution has almost doubled to 76 countries.

5,621 Christians were killed for their faith last year. 90% of these were from Nigeria alone. The huge increase in violence in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa has caused more Christians to lose their lives in the last 5 years. Christians killed in 2023 numbered 80% more than five years ago (3,066).

North Korea has returned to no. 1 with the highest levels of persecution ever seen. Its score of 98, an all-time high, reflects an increase in arrests of Christians, and house-churches discovered and closed – under a new ‘anti-reactionary thought law’.

Open Doors ranked the following countries for the highest levels of Christian persecution: 1. North Korea, 2. Somalia, 3. Yemen, 4. Eritrea, 5. Libya, 6. Nigeria, 7. Pakistan, 8. Iran, 9. Afghanistan, 10. Sudan, 11. India, 12. Syria, 13. Saudi Arabia, 14. Myanmar, 15. Maldives, 16 China, 17. Mali, 18. Iraq, 19. Algeria, 20. Mauritania. For the complete list and more details, visit

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