top of page
  • jkarlson9

Top 10 Most Dangerous Countries for Christians (2024), Part 2 of ?

Updated: Mar 13

Christianity is the world’s largest religion, but there are still places where Christians are persecuted, dispossessed, tortured, or killed for their faith. Submitted for your disapproval are three more countries from 2024's Most Dangerous Countries for Christians, as ranked by the Open Doors World Watch List.

Quick Note: Before you take offense at my gallows humor, know that I’m not demeaning anyone, belittling their situation, or exploiting their victimhood. I’m not above that kind of writing –I am a blogger after all I'm just not doing it now.

7. Pakistan

The Good Historically, churches in Pakistan have had some leeway for worship and other Christian activities. Today, in the best of times, Christian Pakistanis are kept under rigorous observation and run the risk of sporadic explosive attacks. That's all, folks! Drive safe!

On to "The Bad"...

The Bad

The brutal assault on the Christians in Jaranwala in August 2023 showed the harsh reality many believers in Pakistan endure. Official numbers are notoriously opaque, but the consensus is that Muslim assailants targeted over 20 churches and 100 houses, all because they claimed a Christian had desecrated a Quran.

Dig a little deeper and you'll discover that a Muslim man made a false blasphemy charge against a Christian man only after a dispute over a business transaction between the two. Pakistan’s infamous laws against blasphemy frequently target minorities and are often used to settle neighborhood scores. Christians suffer the most: 25% of all blasphemy charges are leveled against Christians, despite Christians comprising only 1.8% of Pakistan's population. The Very Bad The persecution of believers in Pakistan is not always obvious. For example, there is no social mobility for Christians in Pakistan, and that is entirely by design.

Pakistan practices old-school, codified, institutional discrimination. The only jobs Christians can take are the ones no one wants.

Local authorities reserve low, dirty, and degrading work, such as picking up trash or cleaning sewers and brick kilns, exclusively for Christians. As a result, locals routinely refer to Christians as 'chura', a slur meaning "filthy".

The Hope

When they heard of the Jaranwala church attacks, and the International Christian Concern (ICC) devised a plan to supply aid, share information, coordinate resources, and -most importantly- ensure they weren't duplicating efforts.  It's working.

The Pakistani government claims to have "arrested" more than 100 Muslim church attackers and issued checks of $6,575 to 40 Christian families to offset some rebuilding costs. Experts view this as a PR stunt to offset unflattering international headlines. However, local aid workers say Christians haven't seen a single Rupee yet.

6. Nigeria

The Good According to the US Department of State, Nigerian laws and policies generally protect religious freedom. The constitution especially mandates that the government “shall not adopt any religion as State Religion.

Christianity is legal in all of Nigeria, and it has over 103 million Christians. That's almost half the population, with a Muslim North and a Christian South (mainly Roman Catholic).

The Bad

Increasing climate change has further complicated the situation by causing the desertification of cultivable land in the northern regions. This has compelled militant Islamic Fulanis to migrate southward into the fertile Middle Belt of Nigeria, where a significant portion of the country's Christian population resides. Cases in Point: In July 2023 Nigerian Islamists beheaded at least 10 farmers in Borno, and who can forget when Boko Haram kidnapped 49 young girls the following August?

The Very Bad

This powder keg blew up over Christmas 2023. Just 4 months ago -between December 23 and Christmas Day- 295 Christians were killed and over 500 injured in synchronized assaults on 30 villages in Plateau State. The violence displaced over 10,000 people. Adjacent states also reported violent attacks as well.

Nigerian authorities and media often describe the attackers as"bandits" instead of rightly identifying them as Fulani herders who, unable to continue their herding tradition, have turned to violent crime and ideological hate.

But Joop Koopman, the Director of Communications at Aid to the Church in Need-USA, contends that Fulani attackers are equipped with costly and advanced weaponry, indicating a potential source of funding for these now radicalized Fulanis comes from Islamic terror states. So far, Christian farmers have refrained from taking up arms in retaliation (Matthew 5:38-39). Still, in the face of weak government and international response, there is a growing concern the farmers may do so in the future.

The -Thin- Hope Nigeria got a new president in 2023. The impact of this change on our fellow Christians in Nigeria is still uncertain. While the new president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is a Muslim, he has changed the cabinet to reflect more of the religious diversity in Nigeria. This could help recognize and address the abuses that Christians face and make the security forces more responsive. There is no evidence of this...yet. But don't hold your breath. In the meantime, groups like Global Christian Relief are soliciting funds to provide emergency aid to Christians in Nigeria.

  • $25 provides hygiene kits, blankets, and clothing to displaced Christians

  • $57 provides medical treatments to a family of four who are sick/injured.

  • $100 provides emergency food kits

5. Yemen

The Good Fresh out from here onward. Individual success stories at best, from a country that used to be home for 40,000 Christians (and now that number is unknown). Maybe... it hasn't gotten worse? Yemen's persecution spot in The Open Doors watchlist hasn't changed for 2024.

The Bad Yemeni society is fiercely Islamic, conservative, and tribal. The tribal consequences for renouncing Islam can range from death to banishment.

Second verse, same as the worst.

Most Christians there are of Yemeni origin and have Muslim backgrounds. Due to the legal prohibition of converting from Islam, Christians must conceal their faith to avoid potentially severe consequences from family, authorities, or extremist factions.

Such repercussions include mandatory divorce, loss of child custody to the Muslim parent, arrest, interrogation, and even honor killings. As a result, the number of Yemeni Christian Brothers and Sisters surviving in Yemen is unknown.

The Very Bad Since November 2022, employees in the public sector have been compelled to sign a government “Code of Conduct” that aligns with Houthi beliefs and interpretations of the Quran. This code prohibits divergence in perspective, political affiliation, belief, or religion. Houthi authorities view violations of this code as treason and employees who refuse to sign risk salary reductions or termination. Prison authorities now compel detainees to undergo religious training rooted in the Houthi interpretation of Islam as a prerequisite for their release. Those who refuse Muslim prayer rituals face solitary confinement, food deprivation, and restricted family visits. Houthi authorities also coerce the children of Christian converts into lessons promoting animosity toward faiths that reject Houthi doctrines.

The Hope

Welcome, brother. You've come a long, long way. Glad you made it out. Avoid the prosperity gospel and you'll do just fine. Come to my church if you ever get to Dallas.

Next Time: Countries 4-1 (if I don't get too depressed).

During Covid, the author rediscovered 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.



bottom of page