Christian charity Open Doors has revealed the most dangerous places in the world to follow Jesus in 2024. Here’s the top ten list, and how you can pray for Christians who face imprisonment and even death because of their faith


Source: Open Doors


1. North Korea

North Korea retains its spot at the top of the 2024 World Watch List. Pressure in all spheres of life for Christians remains at the maximum level. A widely reported arrest of a family of Christians in April 2023 illustrated the extremely high price of being a Christian in the country.

Pray for North Korean Christians who have no contact with any other believer – that God may keep their faith and witness alive.


2. Somalia

Somalia remains at second place this year, and has seen a significant increase in violence, alongside extreme pressure for Christians. Islamic militants have increasingly focused on identifying and eliminating Christian leaders. Even the suspicion of conversion from Islam to Christianity can lead to life-threatening danger.

Pray for the discipleship of Somali believers, who need equipping to cope with severe persecution.


3. Libya

Libya has risen on the 2024 World Watch List due to an increase in violence. This follows a major incident in May 2023 in which several converts from Islam to Christianity and expatriate Christians were arrested. The absence of a single central government to impose law and order in the country has made the situation even more precarious for Christians.

Ask that, despite the deadly danger, rumours of God and his love will spread across a nation beset by persecution and lawlessness.


4. Eritrea

In Eritrea, persecution and discrimination towards Christians remains extremely high, with an added increase in violence. While some churches are officially recognised, there is still no sphere of life where the pressure on Christians is not at an extreme level in the country, with persecution by the government being the strongest source of pressure.

Pray for God’s presence to be known to the Christians in Eritrea’s inhumane prison system – that he would enfold them in his arms and strengthen them.


5. Yemen

Despite falling two places in the 2024 World Watch List, the situation in Yemen is mostly unchanged, with extreme levels of persecution. Yemeni Christians face violations of religious freedom from their family and from the authorities (both official authorities and Houthi rebels acting as local authorities in one third of the country) as well as from radical Islamist groups.

Thank God for the courage and persistence of Yemen’s church pastors as they continue to offer hope to the nation’s few Christians.


6. Nigeria

In Nigeria, Christians and their communities continue to be attacked in many parts of the country, with the violence score at the maximum level possible. Although 2023 saw the installation of Bola Ahmed Tinubu as president, replacing Muhammadu Buhari, it is as yet unclear what this might mean for freedom of religion or belief in Nigeria.

Pray for the work of Open Doors and many other groups, as they call for international pressure on Nigeria’s national and regional government, to ensure that they actively protect Christians from continuing slaughter.


7. Pakistan

Similarly, violence against Christians in Pakistan has remained at a very high level, and the extremely high pressure on Christians remains constant. The blasphemy law’s high potential to provoke violence was illustrated in the city of Jaranwala in August 2023, where up to 21 churches were burned or damaged and hundreds of Christians were forced to flee their homes.

Pray for Christians who live in fear of the country’s blasphemy laws, which are frequently used against them - with a potential death sentence if found guilty.


8. Sudan

In Sudan, all Christian communities face some form of persecution (especially Christian converts from Islam), and this year there has been a significant increase in violence. The eruption of civil war in April 2023 has left Christians vulnerable, as violent extremists have taken advantage of the chaos to target Christians, seizing churches and Christian properties.

Ask God to keep believers safe in the midst of violent civil war and that they will be able to flourish and act as agents of peace and reconciliation.


9. Iran

In Iran, pressure has remained extreme in virtually all areas of life. There had been some hopeful court rulings in the first half of the 2024 World Watch List reporting period with Christians being released and sentences reduced, but then followed a major wave of arrests in July 2023. Converts from Islam to Christianity face difficulties from the government, society and their families.

Praise God for the steadfast witness of the church leaders who have faced prison sentences, merely for running, or even just attending house churches.


10. Afghanistan

Afghanistan remains in the top 10. While pressure was at an extreme level in all spheres of life, reports of faith-related acts of violence against Christians were few. The Taliban seemed to be more interested in arresting and interrogating (suspected) Christians in order to identify networks rather than in direct punishment.

Pray for the remaining Christians in the country, who must keep their faith hidden. Pray also for those who have been forced to flee the country.

Download Open Doors’ World Watch List 2024 here