Annual Watch List Exposes Worst Religious-Persecution Offenders
The 2019 Open Doors World Watch List is sounding an alarm for Egypt, even as
Egypt has the Middle East’s largest population of Christians whoare Copts.
The Islamic State continues to threaten to wipe out Copts—who make up approximately 10 percent of the 100 million population in the Middle East—by terrorizing them with targeted murders of respected leaders, such as doctors. Other Islamic groups have also targeted Copts with bombings of churches and killing a bus full of pilgrims. Despite Copts’ pleas for protection, the government has given little response, even with the conviction of some killers and attackers.
Egypt remains a hotbed for Islamic extremists to target andDavid Currey, president and CEO of Open Doors USA.
attemptto destroy the Christian community, We mustcontinueto be vigilant in advocating for Christians in the MiddleEast who have limited religious freedom rights.
Overall, Open Doors World Watch List estimates that over 245million Christians now experience high, very high or extreme persecution, an increase from 215 million in 2018.
In its 27th year, the list—which is the world’s only assessment of religious persecution based upon in-depth, rigorous analysis of on-the-ground, first-person research—remains a global indicator of where human and religious rights are being violated, and those countries most vulnerable to societal unrest and destabilization.
What are Copts
The Copts are an ethnoreligious group indigenous to Northeast Africa who primarily inhabit the area of modern Egypt, where they are the largest Christian denomination in the country. Copts are also the largest Christian denomination in Sudan and Libya. (WikiPedia)
Persecution at a Glance
Christians remain one of the most persecuted religious groups in the world. While persecution of Christians takes many forms, it is defined as any hostility experienced as a result of identification with Christ. Christians throughout the world continue to risk imprisonment, loss of home and assets, torture, beheadings, rape and even death, as a result of their faith.
The Open Doors World Watch List is the only comprehensive, annualsurvey of the state of religious liberty for Christians around the world. From Nov. 1, 2017, to Oct. 31, 2018, researchers measured thedegree of freedom a Christian has to live out his or her faith infive spheres of life—private, family, community, national andchurch, plus a sixth category measuring the degree of violence.Points are given for each incident of persecution, and the totalpoints provide the ranking for each country. For more information onthe methodology of the Open Doors World Watch List, pleasevisit OpenDoorsUSA.org.
About Open Doors USA
For more than 60 years, Open Doors USA has worked in the world’s most oppressive and restrictive countries for Christians. Open Doors works to equip and encourage Christians living in dangerous circumstances with the threat of persecution and equips the Western church to advocate for the persecuted. Christians are one of the most persecuted religious groups in the world and are oppressed in at least 60 countries. For more information, visit OpenDoorsUSA.org.