About  5000 Christians  killed in  2023 for  faith  globally

Estimated read time 3 min read

By  our  Special  Religious  Correspondent

Washington, Feb  06   (IVC)  The  year 2023  was the worst year for the Christian faith  as 4998  Christians were killed for  the  faith  globally as   they faced  record level  of violent  attacks, according   to  a  report  released  here recently by  the  International  Christian persecution watchdog group Open Door.

                On  an  average 13  Christians  were  killed for  their  faith  per  day in 2023,  in the  World Watch List  2024  yearly  reporting  period  that  ended on Sept 30, 2023. Open Doors, an  organization  that  monitors persecution  and  supports Church in  over  60  countries  released  its   World  Watch  List 2024 on   January  31 ,  documenting trends and  ranking  the  50  worst  countries  in the world  when  it  comes  to  Christian  persecution.

                At  least 14,766  churches and Christian   properties  were  attacked  worldwide du that  time, with  Open Doors reporting  a seven-fold  increase in  attacks  on churches and Christian-run  schools, hospitals  and cemeteries. “Attacks  on  churches and Christian  properties sky-rocketed  in  2023,as more  Christians than  ever recorded  faced violent  attacks”,  the  report  stated.  

                Open  Doors warns   that  more  than 365 million  (one  in  seven)  Christians  face  high  levels  of  prosecution for  their  faith. North  Korea  was  again ranked Number One  as  the  country  where Christians face  the  greatest  difficulty  in  practicing  their  faith , Open  Doors   says  that  becoming  Christians  in North Korea  is “effectively  a  death  sentence”  because  they “will be deported  to  labor  camps as  political  criminals  or  they are  killed on  the  spot”.

                “Meeting for  worship is almost impossible  and must  be done in utmost  secrecy, and at grave risk”, Open  Doors states  in  a North Korea  factsheet.  “In May  2023, five  members  of a family  were  arrested  as they gathered  for prayer  and bible  study.  Christian literature was  also confiscated.  The group  had  reportedly been meeting on  a  weekly  basis, and their arrest followed a  tip-off  by an informant. Open Doors also highlighted the  violence  against Christians in Sub-Saharan countries, where   26   countries in  this  region   ranked  at  or  above “High” levels  of  persecution.  Fifteen  of  the  26  Sub-Saharan  countries with  scores at or  above “High” were  ranked “Extremely  High”  in  the  violence  subcategory.

                “In  18 of  the  26 Sub-Saharan  countries  with  at  least ‘High’ overall levels  of  persecution,   at  least   4606  Christians   were  killed  because  of  their faith during the  12-month month  reporting  period   for  the  2024  list, which  concluded 30  September  2023.  There  were no  recorded killings  in  the  remaining  eight of  those  26  countries,” the  report  said. Nigeria,  which is  ranked Number  Three, accounted  for nine out  of  10  religiously motivated killings in  the Sub-Saharan  countries on the World  Watch  List .Open Doors  stated that  the  number  of  killings in these  areas is  likely   to  be  higher  as  conflicts are  ongoing, and  that makes  it  challenging to  obtain fully  reliable data

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