June 16, 2024

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Physical Attacks On Churches Saw A 600% Increase In 2023, Annual Report Shows

Worldwide, the persecution of Christians reached higher levels last year, and in many countries the persecution grew more violent, according to the Open Doors’ 2024 World Watch List, an annual report detailing global persecution against Christians.

One in seven Christians (365 million) across the globe live under what the report calls “high levels” of persecution. In 2023, the report counts 4,998 believers who were killed because of their faith, some 15,000 churches or Christian properties that were attacked, and around 4,000 Christians who were detained by authorities. Additionally, nearly 300,000 believers were driven from the homes by war or extremism.

The physical attacks on churches and church property saw a sixfold increase over last year, Open Doors says.

“These attacks put huge pressure on Christian communities, sparking fear and insecurity,” the report states. “Even if believers do regroup in smaller numbers, they have limited leadership and few resources.”

The nation with the worst record for tolerating or perpetrating persecution against Christians, once again, is North Korea. Rounding out the top five, in order, were Somalia, Libya, Eritrea and Yemen. Rounding out the top 10 were Nigeria, Pakistan, Sudan, Iran and Afghanistan. 

Even though Nigeria was No. 6 among the worst countries for persecution, the African nation remains “the deadliest place to follow Jesus,” Open Doors reports, with 82% of killings happening there.

Despite the violence against Christians in Nigeria, the Biden administration’s State Department neglected for the third straight year to designate Nigeria as a “Country of Particular Concern,” once again over the objections of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) and religious freedom advocates.

Sub-Saharan Africa is among the worst areas for violent persecution of Christians, driven by political instability, war and extremism.

“Amid lawlessness, jihadist groups like al-Qaeda and Boko Haram have thrived,” the report states. “Weak governments fail to stop them. And militants attack Christian communities and churches with impunity.”

In addition to Nigeria, African Christians were also killed in Congo (DRC), Burkina Faso, Cameroon and the Central African Republic (CAR), Open Doors says.


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Worldwide, the persecution of Christians reached higher levels last year, and in many countries the persecution grew more violent, according to the Open Doors’ 2024 World Watch List, an annual report detailing global persecution against Christians.

One in seven Christians (365 million) across the globe live under what the report calls “high levels” of persecution. In 2023, the report counts 4,998 believers who were killed because of their faith, some 15,000 churches or Christian properties that were attacked, and around 4,000 Christians who were detained by authorities. Additionally, nearly 300,000 believers were driven from the homes by war or extremism.

The physical attacks on churches and church property saw a sixfold increase over last year, Open Doors says.

“These attacks put huge pressure on Christian communities, sparking fear and insecurity,” the report states. “Even if believers do regroup in smaller numbers, they have limited leadership and few resources.”

The nation with the worst record for tolerating or perpetrating persecution against Christians, once again, is North Korea. Rounding out the top five, in order, were Somalia, Libya, Eritrea and Yemen. Rounding out the top 10 were Nigeria, Pakistan, Sudan, Iran and Afghanistan. 

Even though Nigeria was No. 6 among the worst countries for persecution, the African nation remains “the deadliest place to follow Jesus,” Open Doors reports, with 82% of killings happening there.

Despite the violence against Christians in Nigeria, the Biden administration’s State Department neglected for the third straight year to designate Nigeria as a “Country of Particular Concern,” once again over the objections of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) and religious freedom advocates.

Sub-Saharan Africa is among the worst areas for violent persecution of Christians, driven by political instability, war and extremism.

“Amid lawlessness, jihadist groups like al-Qaeda and Boko Haram have thrived,” the report states. “Weak governments fail to stop them. And militants attack Christian communities and churches with impunity.”

In addition to Nigeria, African Christians were also killed in Congo (DRC), Burkina Faso, Cameroon and the Central African Republic (CAR), Open Doors says.


Harbinger's Daily is funded by Christians like you who long for people to hear Biblical Truth.

 Your donations are vital to help this ministry continue its efforts to reach the lost and boldly equip the church with the truth of God's Word.