World Watch List 2017
What makes the World Watch List reliable?
The World Watch List is accepted as an authoritative study and audited externally by the International Institute for Religious Freedom.
The World Watch Team is made up of 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.
Where are Christians most persecuted?
Every year, Open Doors published the World Watch List, the list of the top 50 places where it's hardest to be a Christian. See our World Watch List to find out where Christians are most persecuted.
What is the World Watch List?
The World Watch List (WWL) is an indexed list of the top 50 countries in the world where it is most difficult to be a Christian. The WWL is used by media agencies right across the world when reporting on Christian persecution.
The WWL measures the types of persecution Christians experience from the government, community and even their own families. It also accounts for the restrictions Christians face in their private lives and their ability to meet and worship with other believers.
How is the World Watch List measured?
We measure the World Watch List (WWL) from 1 November – 31 October each year through a series of questionnaires. We distinguish two main expressions of persecution: pressure and violence.
Pressure measures life for Christians in five spheres: Private life, family life, community life, national life and church life.
Violence measures the number of violent incidents that occur during the reporting period.
Each country is given a score for each of the five spheres and number of violent incidents. That adds up to give a score out of 100, giving each country a World Watch List rank.
What types of persecution do Christians face?
We have eight broad categories that we use to measure persecution:
Islamic Oppression - to bring the country or the world under the 'House of Islam' through violent or non-violent actions.
Religious Nationalism - to conquer the nation for one’s religion. Mainly Hinduism and Buddhism, but also orthodox Judaism or other religions.
Ethnic Antagonism - to force the influence of age-old norms and values shaped in tribal context. Often comes in the form of traditional religion or similar.
Denominational Protectionism - to maintain one’s Christian denomination as the only legitimate expression of Christianity in the country.
Communist/Post-Communist Oppression - to maintain Communism as a prescriptive ideology and/or control the church through a system of registration that has come from communism.
Secular Intolerance - to eradicate religion from the public domain, even out of the hearts of people, and imposes an atheistic form of secularism as a new ideology.
Dictatorial Paranoia - does everything to maintain power, not specifically focused on realising a vision.
Organised Corruption & Crime - to create a climate of anarchy and corruption as a means for self-enrichment.
How many Christians are persecuted?
Approximately 215 million Christians in the WWL 2017 top 50 countries experience ‘high’ levels of persecution for their faith.
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.