By Emily Watt | 19 February 2020
2020 World Watch List | 1 In 8 Christians Persecuted
Open Doors has just released the 2020 World Watch List, showing the 50 most dangerous countries to follow Jesus. This is a chance to be informed of the extent of persecution, to be confronted by its nature, and to ultimately be encouraged by those who have truly counted the cost of following Jesus.
The 2020 World Watch List revealed that 1 in 8 Christians worldwide are persecuted for their faith, a figure that has risen from recent years. Christians in 34 countries experienced a very high to extreme level of persecution, compared to 29 countries last year.
Both violent and non-violent persecution are on the rise. Hundreds of Christians lost their lives in Sri Lanka when a series of bombs exploded, including three at churches holding their Easter Sunday services.
Islamic extremism continued to spread across Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and South-east Asia, where violent attacks at the hands of extremist groups increased. In Burkina Faso, this rise in extremist activity saw it ranked #28 this year, despite not appearing on the List last year.
As technology advances, Christians also face persecution as governments more easily monitor and target them through surveillance cameras and facial recognition software. In China, at least one church is known to require members to queue for facial recognition checks to enter.
In the most dangerous places to follow Jesus, Christians can face persecution from all angles; from their family, neighbours, colleagues, communities, police and government. Despite the risks, they continue to follow Jesus, no matter the cost.
Please pray for Christians as they follow Jesus in the most dangerous places to do so.
Pray For The Persecuted Church In 2020:
Praise God that in the face of rising persecution, the Church is showing resilience and strength.
Pray that believers who experience persecution will remain steadfast in the truth, finding strength and hope in God’s promises.
Pray that those who persecute Christians will come to know the love of Christ.
Stay updated with the latest news from the persecuted church.