Korea tops persecution list

Nation cited for “absolute” persecution of Christians

A survey of countries most actively persecuting Christians has named North Korea as the leading nation in terms of persecution for the 12th year.

Open Doors, an evangelical Christian ministry and NGO, compiles an annual World Watch list of 50 countries most dangerous for Christians. For 2013, despite a spike in actions against Christians amid violent uprisings across the Middle East and in parts of Africa, North Korea, under the rule of Kim Jong Un, maintained its dubious top slot due to what is described as its “absolute” persecution of Christians. It was followed by Syria, which recorded the greatest number of Christian deaths in 2013 (1,213), and then Nigeria (612). Recent events in Egypt meant it led in terms of violent attacks on Christians (167) followed by followed by India (125) and, again, Nigeria (118).

Overall, Open Doors points out that the situation for Christians worldwide has deteriorated, with its own scoring system for all 50 countries combined returning a figure of 3,019, significantly up for the 2,683 returned in 2012.