Open Doors will release its 2014 World Watch List (WWL) of 50 countries that are the worst persecutors of Christians on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2013 during a press conference in Washington, D.C. Open Doors is an international ministry which has been supporting and strengthening persecuted Christians for almost 60 years.
“The 12th annual World Watch List will once again raise awareness of the plight of persecuted Christians around the world,” says Open Doors South Africa CEO, Gerrit Coetzee. “It is important for the public to be informed of what is happening in these countries so it can be a voice for those who are often voiceless in places such as North Korea, Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Nigeria.”
For the past 11 years, the hermit communist country of North Korea has topped the list. North Korea was in the headlines last week with the removal from power and execution of Kim Jong-Un’s uncle Jang Sung Taek. Following North Korea on the 2013 WWL were Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan. Rounding out the top 10 were Iraq, Somalia, Maldives, Mali, Iran, Yemen and Eritrea.
Religious freedom expert speakers at the press conference include veteran journalist Dr Ronald Boyd-MacMillan, head of Strategy and Research for Open Doors International; Dr David Curry, CEO/President of Open Doors USA and Dr Paul Marshall, senior fellow at Hudson Institute’s Centre for Religious Freedom and author of more than 20 books.
The World Watch List ranks countries according to the intensity of persecution Christians face for actively pursuing their faith. The WWL is the only annual survey of religious liberty conditions of Christians around the world.