Every year, Open Doors publishes the World Watch List, illustrating the countries where Christians are most persecuted. The Open Doors World Watch List is the only annual survey of religious liberty conditions of Christians around the world, and measures freedom in five key areas of life: private, family, community, national, the church, as well as the degree of violence faced by believers.
The top 10 countries where Christians faced the most pressure and violence in the 2013 reporting period of the 2014 WWL are: North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Maldives, Pakistan, Iran and Yemen.
For the 12th consecutive year, the 2014 World Watch List (WWL) establishes the hermit communist country of North Korea as the world's most restrictive nation in which to practice Christianity.
Overwhelmingly, the main engine driving persecution of Christians in 36 of the top 50 countries is Islamic extremism, with the most violent region being the nations of the African Sahel belt, where a fifth of the world's Christians meet one seventh of the world's Muslims in close proximity.
However, the fact remains that in no other country in the world are Christians so fiercely persecuted because of their faith as in North Korea. Like other North Koreans, Christians have to survive under one of the most oppressive regimes in contemporary times. An estimated 50,000 to 70,000 Christians live in concentration camps, jails and prison-like circumstances.
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