Picture: Louis Doré/Carto
Picture: Louis Doré/Carto

North Korea is the most oppressive place in the world to live as a Christian.

The Open Doors World Watch List highlights the top 50 countries where it is most difficult to live as a Christian, and the 2016 edition cites Kim Jong-un's "dictatorial paranoia" as the reason that the country tops the rankings.

Open Doors say:

Christians face arrest, torture, imprisonment and death for daring to believe there is a higher authority than the nation's leader, Kim Jong-un.

The list reports that in 2015, persecution grew most rapidly in sub-Saharan Africa, while in the Middle East, Isis violence increased the exodus of the Christian population from the region.

Picture: Carto/Louis Doré

The index measures the degrees of freedom that Christians have to express their faith in six spheres - private, family, community, national and church life, while also measuring levels of violence.

The full rankings of the levels of persecution are as follows:


  1. North Korea
  2. Iraq
  3. Eritrea
  4. Afghanistan
  5. Syria
  6. Pakistan
  7. Somalia
  8. Sudan
  9. Iran

Very high

  1. Libya
  2. Yemen
  3. Nigeria
  4. Maldives
  5. Saudi Arabia
  6. Uzbekistan
  7. Kenya
  8. India
  9. Ethiopia
  10. Turkmenistan
  11. Vietnam
  12. Qatar
  13. Egypt
  14. Myanmar
  15. Palestinian Territories
  16. Brunei


  1. Central African Republic
  2. Jordan
  3. Djibouti
  4. Laos
  5. Malaysia
  6. Tajikistan
  7. Tunisia
  8. China
  9. Azerbaijan
  10. Bangladesh
  11. Tanzania
  12. Algeria
  13. Bhutan
  14. Comoros
  15. Mexico
  16. Kuwait
  17. Kazakhstan
  18. Indonesia
  19. Mali
  20. Turkey
  21. Colombia
  22. United Arab Emirates
  23. Bahrain
  24. Niger
  25. Oman
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