David Curry is the president and CEO of Open Doors USA. For over 60 years, Open Doors USA has worked in the world’s most oppressive and restrictive countries for Christians. They work to equip and encourage Christians living in dangerous circumstances with the threat of persecution and equips the Western church to advocate for the persecuted.
When Open Doors USA began, their main focus was to help support and stand with persecuted believers behind the ‘Iron Curtain’. Many years later, persecution is still in existence at a high level in places like North Korea, the Middle East and Central Asia.
Open Doors wanted to find a way to scientifically figure out where persecution is at its worst so they could focus their efforts in regard to how they support Christians. The result was that they came up with a ‘World Watch List’ and all these years later it’s become a tool that even governments around the world are interested in.
Persecution is measured by Open Doors USA in six different ways. This involves looking for levels of harassment and oppression all the way up to violence in the various sphere’s of life. David used Saudi Arabia as an example. They have a very low level of violence against Christians, but this is due to the fact that there are no Christian churches there. On the other hand, pressure in the national sphere of life is a different story because of the government’s control of religious expression of their people. They don’t allow people to become followers of Jesus and you can’t have a Bible.
What nations are highest on the list? What nations have been dropped or added? Is persecution decreasing or increasing worldwide? How can Western believers make a difference? These questions and others are answered on this vital edition of Crosstalk.
Open Doors USA