(By Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian Post.) Persecution watchdog group Open Doors is preparing for International Day of Prayer on Sunday, examining the struggles of Christians in the world’s most dangerous areas, and has warned that the global Church is still too self-centered and needs to reach out to help its brothers and sisters.
Open Doors President David Curry told The Christian Post in a phone interview that while statistics for the number of Christians killed around the world specifically for their faith in 2016 are not yet available, the factors that made 2015 the deadliest in history with over 7,000 Christian deaths have not been eradicated.
“The factors that led to the dramatic rise of Christians being attacked and martyred and harassed, all those factors are still in place. You still have rouge nations like Eritrea, North Korea, Sudan and others, who are not concerned about international justice laws, and are persecuting Christians within their government,” Curry said.
He told CP that radical caliphates looking to spread their territory, such as the Islamic State terror group in Iraq and Syria or Boko Haram in Africa, are still active and one of the main drivers of persecution.
While North Korea remains the most dangerous country for Christians, according to the Open Doors World Watch List, Curry noted that the northern parts of Nigeria, a country where Christians have faced attacks both from Boko Haram and radical Fulani herdsmen, is the area that his organization is most concerned about.
“They (Christians) have been caught in a crossfire — more Christians were killed last year in Nigeria than anywhere else for their faith, short of North Korea,” he said.