World Watch List for 2023

Open Doors has released the latest trends in religious acceptance and persecution of Christians around the world. The report focuses on the worst 50 countries with regard to Christianity, and taking top spot this year is North Korea.

An estimated 400,000 Christians live in North Korea. The country, officially agnostic, is completely intolerant of Christians. Anyone found to be a Christian believer is killed on discovery or placed in a labor camp, and their family is given the same treatment. This prevents any form of group worship and those who do meet so are at extreme risk. Recently laws introduced against “reactionary thought” ban the Bible. 

According to the 2022 report by The International Bar Association and The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea: “Detention periods have been documented as being longer for Christians than other groups, and witnesses have reported that ‘identified Christians are interrogated for longer periods, usually under torture’, and subjected to some of the worst forms of torture to force them to incriminate others during interrogation.” 

Open Doors provides food and other aid to some 80,000 North Korean believers using secret routes through China and provides shelter for North Korean refugees at safe houses in China.

Brother Andrew founded Open Doors, an evangelical Christian ministry. His journey began in 1955 when the young Dutchman smuggled Bibles to persecuted Christians in Communist regions of Europe. In more than 70 countries, Open Doors supplies Bibles, trains church leaders, provides emergency relief and supports Christians suffering from persecution and discrimination because of their faith. “God invites us to influence our community, our nation, and the world,” says Brother Andrew, “to literally direct history while we’re on our knees.”