WASHINGTON (AP) — North Korea continues to be the worst country in the world to be a Christian, according to the new World Watch List released by Open Doors USA.
The list ranks North Korea as the world's worst persecutor of Christians for the 11th year in a row, followed by eight nations where Open Doors says "extreme Islam poses the largest threat for Christians," led by Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Open Doors International's Ron Boyd-MacMillan notes that persecution of Christians has increased in 11th-ranked Syria, where civil war has driven thousands into exile, and in African countries where Islamist extremism is on the rise.
In North Korea, he says severe persecution of Christians has not eased under new leader Kim Jong Un (kim jawng oon).
The Open Doors report says Christians are persecuted in at least 60 countries, and says persecution increased worldwide last year.