A New Ranking of Nations Where Christians Are Persecuted Most

How many Americans know about this? Here is Doug Bandow:

Some old standbys, and then some surprises.

The group Open Doors has released the latest iteration of its World Watch List. The ranking covers the worst 50 nations with respect to religious persecution of Christians. Most nations on the list are perennials, instantly recognized by those who follow the issue. The details vary a bit year by year, but the outcome of this tragic sport rarely changes much.

Indeed, one imagines religious persecutors involved in a competition to see which state can be more inhospitable to freedom of conscience. There is an aging champ, still in the lead but closely trailed by new aspirants. A previous contender reemerges for a new run at the top prize. Most of those seeking victory have different strengths. Some competitors emphasize direct government repression, others vicious social pressure. A favorite technique is mob violence with official acquiescence. There are more.

Open Doors noted some broad trends. The People’s Republic of China has been using technology for dramatically ill ends. Less dramatically, India, too, is using facial recognition. Overall, “in the most populated countries on earth, Christians live in a surveillance state.”

Although the Middle East has traditionally been the fount of Islamist violence, “sub-Saharan Africa is increasingly under threat from Islamic extremist groups. Particularly in countries or in regions where government control is weak or non-existent, these groups are killing, kidnapping and sowing chaos with impunity.” Alas, the violence is not limited to Africa. “Militant Islam spreads violence and fear in Southeast and South Asia.” For instance, Sri Lanka, long the host of a brutish Buddhism that battered Christian believers, saw Islamist terrorist attacks on Christians.

Read more: National Review

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