World
Watch List

Discover the most dangerous places to be a Christian.

WHERE FAITH IS DANGEROUS

The World Watch List 2022

What would your Christian life look like if you lived somewhere else? Would you be imprisoned for your faith, followed by secret police, or kidnapped by extremists?

The World Watch List reveals the 50 most dangerous countries to be a Christian. Produced annually by expert analysts, the World Watch List is the most authoritative of its kind.

Discover the places where believers are forced to choose between faith and freedom.

For the first time, Afghanistan is the most dangerous place to be a Christian.

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WORLD WATCH LIST

SCORING
EXPLAINED

Our expert researchers measure developing trends in Christian persecution each year from 1 November – 31 October through on-the-ground interviews and data collection. In over 70 countries, we uncover where the Church is most persecuted.

There are two main ways Christians experience persecution: violence and pressure.

Violence
Based on the number of violent incidents in the reporting period.

Pressure
Measured in five spheres of life: private, family, national, church, and community.

Each country receives a score based on a detailed report of violent incidents and the five spheres of pressure. These are added up to a score out of 100, creating each country’s rank on the World Watch List.

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WORLD
WATCH
LIST FAQs

  • What makes the World Watch List Reliable?

    For almost 30 years, Open Doors has produced the World Watch List, compiled by persecution analysts. Each are experts in their field of study with postgraduate or doctoral qualifications.

    The list is audited externally by the International Institute for Religious Freedom and is accepted as the most authoritative list of its kind.

  • How many Christians are persecuted?

    1 in 7 Christians worldwide are persecuted for their faith.

    More than 360 million Christians worldwide suffer very high or extreme levels of persecution and discrimination for their faith.

  • How can I help?

    You can change the lives of persecuted believers in some of the most dangerous countries. Click here to get involved.

WHERE PERSECUTION COMES FROM

WHAT TYPES OF PERSECUTION DO CHRISTIANS FACE

Our experts use nine broad categories to measure the source of persecution:

  1. Islamic Oppression – Any violent or non-violent action used to bring countries, communities, and households under Islamic control.
  2. Religious Nationalism – Using the country’s majority religion to imply Christians do not qualify as citizens.
  3. Clan Oppression – Instances where a clan or extended family ensures the ongoing practice of traditional values or belief systems by force.
  4. Ethno-Religious Hostility – When one ethnic group subjects another to hostility based on their religion.
  5. Christian Denominational Protectionism – Making one Christian denomination the only legitimate expression of Christianity in the country.
  6. Communist and Post-Communist Oppression – To monitor and control Christians and churches through a system based on communist values.
  7. Secular Intolerance – To eradicate Christian expression from public life and impose atheistic secularism.
  8. Dictatorial Paranoia – Persecution derived from an authoritarian government which does everything to maintain power, including tearing down organised groups like Christians.
  9. Organised Corruption & Crime – Gangs and criminal groups create a climate of anarchy and corruption for selfish gain. Christians will often speak out against them and become targets for persecution.
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“If someone is willing to kill me for my faith, my God must be powerful.”

Sara*, Egypt