Saturday, March 18, 2006

Open Doors USA

Open Doors has a list of top 10 countries that persecute Christians.

Open Doors USA: "World Watch List 2006
Focus on the Top 10

1. North Korea

Violations of human rights are the order of the day in the Stalinist country of North Korea, including many breaches of religious rights. North Korea has entered its fourth year as the worst violator of religious rights for Christians. Christianity is observed as a dangerous foreign influence which stimulated the collapse of communist regimes in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union and therefore poses one of the greatest threats to the regime’s power. As a result, the North Korean authorities are making harsh efforts to root out Christianity. It is believed that tens of thousands of Christians are currently suffering in North Korean prison camps where they face cruel abuses. The hermit regime is suspected of detaining more political and religious prisoners than any other country in the world. Several North Koreans became Christians after crossing the border with China and entering into contact with local Christians. Many among these were exposed as believers when they returned to North Korea, and they were specially targeted for arrest. Many of them were tortured and killed. Though no exact figures can be given, Open Doors’ staff estimates that hundreds of Christians were killed by the regime in 2005. Amidst all of this, North Korea is trying to keep up a facade of religious freedom, trying to cover the complete lack of this inalienable human right, by -- among others -- organizing government-sponsored religious services in show churches in the capital of Pyongyang, which foreigners are allowed to attend.

2. Saudi Arabia

Also this year, Saudi Arabia remains high in the top 10 of the World Watch List. Religious freedom does not exist in the Wahhabist kingdom where citizens are only allowed to adhere to one religion: Islam. No legal protection is provided for freedom of religion, neither does this protection exist in practice. The legal system is based on Islamic law (Shariah). "
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