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Report: Christianity World’s Most Persecuted Religion

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

persOpen Doors USA figures that 360 million Christians last year lived in countries where persecution was "significant," the Grand Rapids-based think tank, the Acton institute reports.

Roughly 5,600 Christians were murdered, more than 6,000 were detained or imprisoned, and another 4,000-plus were kidnapped. In addition, more than 5,000 churches and other religious facilities were destroyed.

Afghanistan took over the top spot from North Korea this year. Open Doors explains that it long was "impossible to live openly as a Christian in Afghanistan. Leaving Islam is considered shameful, and Christian converts face dire consequences if their new faith is discovered. Either they have to flee the country or they will be killed."

The August collapse of the U.S.-backed Kabul government made the situation immeasurably worse. According to Open Doors: "Christian persecution is extreme in all spheres of public and private life. The risk of discovery has only increased, since the Taliban controls every aspect of government—including paperwork from international troops that may help identify Christians."

No. 2 on the list of the worst persecutors was North Korea. Christianity was strong in Korea before the Soviet occupation after World War II of what became the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The Kim dynasty—Kim Jong-un represents the third generation—then created a personality cult that treats its members as semi-divine. Consequently, the North views Christianity, which claims a higher loyalty, as particularly threatening.
Author Information
Paul R. Kopenkoskey
Author: Paul R. KopenkoskeyWebsite:
Paul R. Kopenkoskey is a full-time freelance writer and editor for an assortment of publications including Grand Rapids Magazine, Grand Rapids Business Journal, and Faith Grand Rapids magazine. He has completed his first novel with the working title, Karl Beguiled. He and his wife, Barb, live in Wyoming, Michigan. They have three children and five grandchildren.

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