2018 World Watch List - Out Now
2018 World Watch List
In the top 50 countries where it’s most dangerous to follow Jesus, 215 million Christians face persecution every day.
Where are Christians most persecuted?
Christians are persecuted all around the world. See our World Watch List to find out the top 50 countries where Christians are most persecuted.
What is the World Watch List?
The World Watch List ranks the top 50 countries where it’s most dangerous to be a Christian.
For each country, the list looks at the persecution Christians endure in their public and private lives.
How is the World Watch List measured?
We measure developing trends each year from 1 November – 31 through on the ground interviews and data collection. We do this in over 70 countries to see where the global church is most under pressure, but also where God is most at work.
We distinguish two main types of persecution: violence and pressure.
Number of violent incidents in the reporting period.
Pressure is measured for Christians in five spheres of life: Private, Family, National, Church and Community.
Each country is scored from a detailed report on violent incidents and different spheres of pressure on Christians. These scores are then added up to a total score out of 100 to create the ranking.
What types of persecution do Christians face?
We use these eight broad categories to measure where persecution comes from:
Islamic Oppression - Any violent or non-violent action used to bring Christians under Islamic rule.
Religious Nationalism - Using the majority religion of a country (usually Hinduism and Buddhism, but also orthodox Judaism or other religions) to imply Christians do not qualify as citizens.
Ethnic Antagonism - Using cultural and tribal norms based on traditional religion to suggest Christians are outsiders.
Denominational Protectionism - To maintain one’s Christian denomination as the only legitimate expression of Christianity in the country.
Communist/Post-Communist Oppression - To monitor and control churches through a system of biased registration.
Secular Intolerance - To eradicate Christian expression from public life and impose an atheistic secularism.
Dictatorial Paranoia - Does everything to maintain power, including tearing down organised groups–like Christians.
Organised Corruption & Crime - To create a climate of anarchy and corruption as a means for self-enrichment. Christians will often speak out against this and become targets.
How many Christians are persecuted?
We estimate that in the top 50 countries alone, 215 million Christians face intimidation, prison, or even death for their faith in Jesus. That’s one in twelve Christians worldwide.
What makes the World Watch List reliable?
For over 20 years, Open Doors International has been producing the World Watch List.
The list is compiled by a group of experts, one director and five persecution analysts who focus on a particular region. Each are experts in their fields of study with postgraduate or doctoral qualifications.
The list is audited externally by the International Institute for Religious Freedom is accepted as the most authoritative list of it’s kind.
What Is Christian Persecution?
Christian persecution is any hostility experienced as a result of proclaiming the name of Jesus.
It can look different for each of the millions of believers who face persecution every day. Some experience rejection and isolation from their families, friends and communities. Others are denied access to basic needs like water, food and health care. Some face violent abuse, imprisonment and even death.
Open Doors exists to serve and strengthen persecuted Christians.