For the fourth straight year, North Korea has made the top spot on the 2006 Open Doors “World Watch List” of 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.
The annual list ranks countries according to the intensity of persecution Christians face for actively pursuing their faith.
It is believed that the communist country has detained more political and religious prisoners than any other country in the world and that tens of thousands of Christians are currently suffering in North Korean prison camps where they face cruel abuses, according to the 2006 World Watch List report. Though no exact figures can be given, Open Doors’ staff estimates that hundreds of Christians were killed by the regime in 2005.
Open Doors USA is partnering with the North Korea Freedom Coalition for North Korea Freedom Week, April 24-30, in the U.S.
Saudi Arabia holds the second spot on the list. Rounding out the top 10 are Iran, Somalia, Maldives, Bhutan, Yemen, Vietnam, Laos and China. In addition to North Korea, countries with communist governments include Vietnam, Laos and China. Islamic-dominated countries are Saudi Arabia, Iran, Somalia, Maldives and Yemen. Buddhism is the state religion of Bhutan.