The new 2018 Open Doors World Watch List highlights increasing persecution and intolerance of Christians around the world. India and Nepal have both risen on the list. Read why…
Last year 23,793 Christians in India were physically or mentally abused – more than the numbers abused in all the other countries of the Open Doors World Watch List put together.
Extreme religious nationalism in India has made life for Christians a daily struggle in many areas; the situation deteriorated by 8 persecution points this year and India is now ranked at 11 on the Open Doors World Watch List compared with a ranking of 28 in 2014. The government turns a blind eye to those persecuting Christians, while at the same time keeping cases where people are falsely accused of attempting to convert people to Christianity tied up in court for many months. According to information gathered by local churches, 635 Christians were arrested and imprisoned in India last year, many without trial or whose trials faced lengthy delays.
Open Doors UK and Ireland CEO Lisa Pearce said: “I have met Indian Christians who had been forced to leave their homes, who were unable to get jobs and who were afraid they would be the next victim of a vicious attack. Over 63 million Christians in India are experiencing persecution or oppression simply because of what they believe – and it’s clear that the international community need to do more to speak up for Christians and other minorities in both India and Nepal.”
Nepal, which borders India, is a new addition to the Open Doors World Watch List – ranking at 25. Nepal has seen a sharp 11 persecution point increase in persecution due to the growing influence of Hindu extremists in a surge of religious nationalism mirroring the situation in neighbouring India.
In 2017 Nepal enacted a new law to curb evangelism by criminalising religious conversion. The new law also brought in strict blasphemy rules. Missionaries have told Open Doors that the government announced to all leaders of Christian orphanages and boarding schools in Kathmandu that it would impose huge fines, close them down and confiscate possessions should they find just one Christian booklet in their institution. Praying with children or letting them attend a Bible club is also prohibited.
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.