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Tags: religious persecution

Afghanistan Tops North Korea in Religious Persecution: Watchdog Group

Afghanistan Tops North Korea in Religious Persecution: Watchdog Group

Afghan religious leaders and Taliban members attend the Taliban government's head of the Taliban's Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, acting as the country's ''moral police,'' on Dec. 12, 2021, at the Loya Jirga, a traditional assembly of elders, in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul. (Alfred Yaghobzadeh/Abaca/Sipa USA via AP Images)

By    |   Thursday, 20 January 2022 07:23 PM EST

Afghanistan has replaced North Korea as the world's worst country for persecuting religious believers, according to the California-based religious persecution watchdog organization Open Doors USA.

Open Doors, which rates countries on the level of persecution and discrimination against people of faith, said that Christianity is the most persecuted faith, Newsweek reported.

Upward of 360 million Christians worldwide are persecuted by radical Hindus and Muslims, according to the group, and 312 million of those — 1 in 7 Christians worldwide — suffer "extreme" persecution, according to Open Doors.

North Korea, led by the dictatorial Kim family where a cult of personality stands in place of any tolerated religion, had led the list for two decades. Although the situation in North Korea actually got worse over the past year, the country fell to second place behind Afghanistan largely because of the chaotic withdrawal of U.S. military forces in August.

That made "an [already] deadly situation for Christians worse," the Open Doors report said.

"Every Christian in Afghanistan is either in hiding or on the run," Open Doors USA President and CEO David Curry told Newsweek.

The Taliban's almost instant takeover of the country has Christians fleeing to protect their families, Curry said, with the Taliban moving from door to door seizing girls to marry off to Taliban fighters.

"Christian women are the most vulnerable group in the world today," he said.

Open Doors held an online press conference on Wednesday to share statements from undercover Christians in Nigeria and Afghanistan. Also on hand were Rashad Hussain, the State Department's ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, and Sam Brownback, the former ambassador-at-large.

The survey period of November 2020 to September 2021 rated countries on private, family, community, church and national freedoms and a violence index, Newsweek reported.

The top 11 violators were Afghanistan, North Korea, Somalia, Libya, Yemen, Eritrea, Nigeria, Pakistan, Iran, India and Saudi Arabia.

China showed up at No. 17 despite recent moves against it for human rights violations, including the Biden administration's refusal to send diplomats to the Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Curry noted China's mass surveillance of people of faith and what Hussain termed the "genocide" of Uyghur Muslims.

China does not have a higher score because the violence is currently muted, Curry said.

''They're not lining up people and shooting them," as in Somalia and North Korea, he said. "China has figured out how a government with centralized control can squeeze and punish people without them leaving their homes."

But he urged Americans to boycott watching the Olympics on television, even though U.S. athletes are to compete.

"The Communist government wants the attention and revenue from the Olympics, and I think people of faith should just pass," he said.

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Afghanistan has replaced North Korea as the world's worst country for persecuting religious believers, according to the California-based religious persecution watchdog organization Open Doors USA.
religious persecution
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2022-23-20
Thursday, 20 January 2022 07:23 PM
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