Overlap on persecution lists reveals danger for Christians
Excerpt: The week after the U.S. State Department redesignated 10 nations as countries of particular concern (CPCs) over “systemic, ongoing, and egregious religious freedom violations,” the Christian group Open Doors USA released its annual World Watch List of the 50 most dangerous countries for Christians. Both lists include Myanmar (also known as Burma), China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, with Open Doors noting all 10 countries had extreme, very high, or high levels of persecution against Christians. ... Overall, 215 million Christians around the world face threats due to their faith. Open Doors called Islamic extremism the “dominant” driver of persecution against Christians in 35 of the 50 countries listed. That included attacks by Islamic extremist groups like the Taliban in Afghanistan, al-Shabaab in Somalia, and Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Open Doors CEO David Curry said his team found a “shocking” escalation in attacks against Christian women. Researchers documented 2,260 separate cases of sexual harassment, rape, or forced marriage of Christian women in 2017—six women per day. Because of underreporting, Open Doors suspects many more cases likely happened.