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Tactical insights

By Dan Etheridge

The following seven teams feature in the 2022 World Cup but are also on the current Open Doors World Watch List (the toughest 50 places on earth to be a Christian). Check through these quick facts to gain some tactical insights and see why we want you to pray when they play.

1. Iran (No.9)
Iran is a deeply Islamic society – so teaching the Bible, telling others about Christianity or praying to Jesus could lead to being arrested and imprisonment.
2. Saudi Arabia (No. 11)
Saudi believers from a Muslim background can face violent threats from extended family and publicly leaving Islam carries the death penalty (though this hasn’t been carried out recently).
3. Qatar (No. 18)
The host nation, where the authorities don’t officially recognise conversion from Islam. Christians from a Muslim background keep their faith a secret.
4. Morocco (No. 27)
It’s illegal to ‘shake the faith’ of a Muslim in Morocco, which means Christians who talk about their faith with others can face prosecution.
5. Tunisia (No. 35)
No new church has been granted registration since 1956, whilst those converting from Islam can face attack and death threats.
6. Mexico (No. 43)
Those converting from indigenous religions can be forced from their homes and criminal gangs target Christians who speak out against them.
7. Cameroon (No. 44)
A civil war has been going on since 2017, meaning there is less security in the north where the extremist Islamic group Boko Haram actively target Christians.

So, whichever team you’re supporting during the 2022 World Cup, make sure you also cheer on your persecuted church family too! Sign up to our mailing list to get our free World Cup Wall Chart and pray as the tournament unfolds.

The Author
Dan works part time with Open Doors, mainly sorting out the comms stuff for youth and students. In his other life he's a freelance writer and graphic designer who likes collecting records and sitting on beaches looking at waves.

We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.