Jan. 13: Release of 2016 Open Doors World Watch List

Organization Ranks the World’s Most Dangerous Countries for Christians 

On Wednesday, Jan. 13, at 10 a.m. ET at the National Press Club in Washington, Open Doors USA will announce its 2016 World Watch List, a ranking of the top 50 countries where it is the most dangerous and difficult to be a Christian.  

Christians are one of the most persecuted groups in the world. The Islamic State and other Islamic extremist groups continue to target Christians with acts of violence across the Middle East and Africa. During 2015, once again Christians were specifically targeted because of their faith, subjecting them to kidnappings, imprisonments and executions.

While Islamic extremism continues to be a primary source of persecution against Christians, other sources include Communist totalitarianism, state-sponsored religious prejudice and a hostile society toward minority religious groups, among other things.

For the past 13 years, North Korea has topped the list as the most dangerous place to be a Christian, but the Middle East and Africa have dominated the headlines this year. Some 200 Assyrian Christians were kidnapped, 21 Coptic Christians were beheaded, and numerous churches and places of worship were burned to the ground or blown up in countries like Nigeria and Ethiopia.

At the press conference, Open Doors USA President and CEO David Curry will release this year’s World Watch List and provide an update on the persecution of Christians worldwide; Ambassador David Saperstein, ambassador at large for International Religious Freedom, will provide commentary on religious freedom; and Gladys, a persecuted Christian from Kenya, will share her own experience with persecution. 

“The World Watch List showcases where Christians are most vulnerable worldwide,” said Curry. “It highlights for Americans where our prayers and resources are of greatest need to support those living under difficult circumstances.” 

WHO:             David Curry, president and CEO of Open Doors USA
                       Ambassador David Saperstein, ambassador at large for International Religious Freedom
                       Gladys, a persecuted Christian from Kenya           

WHAT:           Announcement of the 2016 World Watch List

WHEN:           Wednesday, Jan. 13 at 10 a.m. ET

WHERE:        First Amendment Lounge at the National Press Club
                       529 14th St. NW
                       Washington, DC 20045        

Media are asked to kindly RSVP if they are planning to attend. 

About Open Doors USA: 

For 60 years, Open Doors USA has worked in the world's most oppressive and restrictive countries for Christians. Open Doors works to equip and encourage Christians living in dangerous circumstances with the threat of persecution and equips the Western church to advocate for the persecuted. Christians are one of the most persecuted religious groups in the world and are oppressed in at least 60 countries. For more information, visit OpenDoorsUSA.org.