Christian persecution is at an historic high thanks to global rise of religious fundamentalism, most notably by radical Islam, Christian charity Open Doors has found. Persecution has seen the biggest rise in countries such as Pakistan and Eritrea where radical Islam is on the rise, but North Korea still tops the list with its systematic oppression of Christians.
More than 100 million Christians are being persecuted globally, according to the 2016 Open Doors World Watch List, and more than 80 percent of that persecution is down to religious fundamentalism of some kind.
At least 7,000 Christians have been killed for their faith in the last year alone, up from 4,000 in 2014, the report notes. But it admits that the figure is likely to be a significant underestimate as it does not include murders in Iraq, Syria and North Korea, where violent persecution of Christians has become the norm, as accurate records do not exist in those countries.
North Korea, where citizens are required to revere their leader, remains the most dangerous place on earth to be a Christian. It is estimated that around 70,000 Christians are currently imprisoned in labour camps, while others who worship in secret risk death if they are discovered.