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Top 10 Most Dangerous Countries for Christians (2024) Part 1 of ?

Updated: Feb 21

Please allow me to steal from some 2011 dude a bit (plagiarism is so in style these days). Sadly, I can steal almost verbatim from List Boy. "Some think Christianity’s flawed past and modern emphasis on grace and forgiveness

make it an easy (perhaps deserving) target for criticism, even reverse discrimination. Scathing rhetoric is part of any healthy debate, but should it go so far as to turn a blind eye to persecution?

Christianity is one of the world’s predominant religions, but there are still many places where Christians are persecuted, dispossessed, tortured, or killed for their faith. Often this occurs as part of governmental or religious policy.


Western media frequently underreport these incidents, fearing to offend cultural sensibilities and lose broadcast access. As a result, much of this data must be culled from secular human rights publications and religious watchdog groups."


Submitted for your disapproval are 2024's Most Dangerous Countries for Christians, as ranked by the Open Doors World Watch List. They're truly doing the Lord's work.


Most Dangerous Countries for Christians, 2024

Quick Note: Before taking offense at my gallows humor, know that it comes out of bitter frustration and sorrow. I’m not demeaning anyone, belittling their situation, or exploiting their victimhood. I’m not above that kind of writing – I'm just not doing it now.


Straight, no chaser.

First time for everything.




10. Afghanistan


The Good: It's been 3 years since the Taliban regained control in Afghanistan. Surprisingly, their resurgence brought a modicum of political stability... The Bad: ... but only to Sunni Muslims. Minority groups face crushing pressure and violence. The Taliban promised more freedoms when they came to power, but it just hasn't happened.


The Very Bad: Today, the Taliban insists there are no Christians in Afghanistan. All house churches are closed, and any remaining believers have gone deep underground. Afghan Christians face death, detention, or torture until they betray other believers. And if/when torture doesn't work, the Taliban pays citizens to dime on Muslim apostates. According to Lana Silk at Transform Iran, “The Taliban are offering money for Afghans to turn in any Christians they know." And since Taliban economists are one step removed from dousing with sticks for spare change, many destitute Afghans are willing to turn in Christians.


The Hope: According to persecution.org, Afghani believers make regular trips -on foot- to remote villages, preaching and mentoring new converts. According to Silk, “There are secret prayer meetings and teaching sessions; people are giving each other encouragement and hope. They are reaching out and evangelizing the lost around them, which is incredibly courageous, considering the implications.”  

Case in Point: The Afghan House Church Network began in 2011 with 8 believers in a small apartment. By 2020, they had an estimated 2,000 believers and 120 leaders. But that all changed in August 2021, when Afghanistan fell to Taliban control.


Members immediately went to work and provided safe houses and transportation out of Afghanistan as best they could. Over the next 18 months, they successfully evacuated over 750 people, Joe. Today the much smaller group of believers provides housing, living expenses, and legal assistance, as well as food and medical care for Christians remaining in Afghanistan.

 

But members are rebuilding the Network, ministering to the Afghan Christian diaspora while still supporting local believers with leadership training, underground house churches, and DBS groups. This, along with online resources like audio Bibles, podcast teachings, ebooks, and mobile apps – all available in local languages.

Case In Case In Point: Afghan House, part of the new Afghan House Church Network, provides audio materials from Creation to Christ in Dari and Pashto, which is critical considering that 65% of males and 85% of female adults in Afghanistan are illiterate.



9. Iran


The Good: Your faith is tolerated if you're born into the super old Armenian or Assyrian Christian sects. As long as you consent to be a second-class citizen: Jizya tax, filthy jobs, the whole "utterly subdued" bit in Quran 8:39. The Bad: You can't worship or read the Bible in your mother tongue (Farsi), and forget about converting anyone. Just supporting converts is a prison sentence.

The Very Bad: Religious tolerance simply does not exist in Iran. Their version of Sharia Law views conversion as a Western conspiracy to undermine the Islamic government. Converts are arrested and imprisoned immediately for sedition. These new believers receive long prison sentences filled with torture, deprivation, and abuse. And even when they're released, they're tailed to "fish" for other apostates. Second convictions are automatic life sentences.


The Hope: Iran's a hole, but it once had a prosperous secular history (provided you didn't cheese off the Shah). Iranians still remember a different way and are tired of the mullahs.


Today nobody in Iran trusts state media, and despite a ban against them, satellite TVs are in 70% of Iranian homes. Remember Transform Iran? Since 2001, their tiny Sama TV studio has produced & broadcast over 5,000 daily Christian TV programs to Iran via Mohabat TV, which has an estimated 16 million viewers.


And that's just Satellite TV. Transform Iran also does missionary work via Persian World Radio, a 24/7 teaching, Bible reading, and worship radio station in Farsi. Add to that their Farsi Christian News Network website and you've got a triple threat going (use the Chrome "translate" feature to read in English). And Iran has its share of hipster Millenials and Gen Z'ers glued to their phones, too. That's why Transform Iran's ‘Cheshme’ mobile app is so promising. It's bursting at the seams with content, including:


  • 1,000 half-hour teaching videos

  • 300 audio messages

  • 200 books

  • 100 articles

  • 250 worship songs

  • 100+ teaching sessions and Bible stories for kids

  • 12 Christian movies

  • Farsi Bibles (text and audio)

  • Audio dramatizations of the Gospel of John


(Note to Self: Don't let my editor see this level of productivity.)

The Cheshme app has been downloaded over 2,600 times (mostly from Iran) and analytics show that downloaders access it... religiously.

"Boo!" yourself. I Iike that one.




8. Sudan

Remember the Good/Bad/Very Bad/Hope format? Like most things, it breaks down when it comes to Sudan. The Bad The destructive civil war that erupted in April 2023 is currently jeopardizing the strides made toward religious freedom following the removal of Omar al-Bashir in 2019. As a result, Sudan, previously a success story for religious freedom, has dropped from the 10th to the 8th position on the Open Door Watch List.


The conflict arises from a struggle for power between the Sudanese National Army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). In the wake of hostilities, over 9,000 lives have been lost, and nearly 6 million individuals have been forced to flee their homes.

The Very Bad

Many Christians in regions like Darfur, the Blue Nile, and the Nuba Mountains have faced indiscriminate attacks amid the conflict between government forces and rebel groups. More than 165 churches have been shut down, some even destroyed, while reports from churches detail human rights abuses including looting, kidnapping, and rape.

The long-term concern is that the conflict between these tin-pot military forces may offer Islamic extremists a fresh chance to regain a foothold in Sudan and establish Sharia Law. The brief and delicate period of peace, during which Christians were permitted to openly attend church, has vanished.


In the short term, Christian converts from Islam now face significant risks, despite the absence of official Sharia law. Some Christians are so afraid that they refrain from sharing the gospel of Jesus with their children, fearing their kids could inadvertently expose their parents' faith to the local community (90% Sunni Muslim, 5% Christian).


The -Dashed- Hope As a result of the regime’s 50-year campaign to Islamize the country, Bibles and Christian literature have become scarce. However, there are concerted efforts by Groups like The Voice of the Martyrs to saturate Sudan with Bibles during the current hostilities.




Next Time: Countries 7-5 (if I don't get too depressed). Permission to revisit Sudan if I find anything. There's gotta be something, right? Bueller? Bueller?








During Covid, the author rediscovered cityonahilldfw.com. Post-vaccination he snuck into a service and felt zero social pressure. He's a member now and everyone knows he sucks at small talk. They don't care: it ain't that kind of church.





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