Olli Dürr Society Persecution Index 2024 – Increase in violence against Christians

Persecution Index 2024 – Increase in violence against Christians

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Worldwide persecution and violence against people of Christian faith continued to increase. The current Persecution Index 2024 statistics show dramatic increases in attacks against Christians.

Violence against Christians is increasing

The global persecution of Christians has continued to increase in the past year. As part of the 2024 Persecution Index, the organization “Open Doors” published the latest figures on the sometimes severe hardships faced by people with a Christian faith (Source).
According to this, more than 365 million people in 78 countries worldwide have come under pressure because of their faith. The vast majority of 317 million people live in 50 countries where persecution occurs at extremely high levels.


Things are getting tighter for Christians

One of the focal points of developments last year was the sub-Saharan region of Africa. Open Doors highlights the violence against Christians stemming from Islamist extremism in this area. The organization classified a total of 26 countries south of the Sahara with at least high levels of persecution of Christians. Of these, 15 countries had an extremely high score in the violence subcategory. A year earlier this included a total of 13 countries. Attacks against Christian businesses, churches and other Christian buildings in particular contributed to the increase. Within a year, the number of such attacks on public buildings with a Christian background rose from 22 to 284. A tenfold increase in incidents of destruction and looting against Christians has been noted in the Central African Republic and Burkina Faso. During the 2024 index reporting period, Open Doors counted a total of 4,606 Christians killed because of their faith in the 26 countries south of the Sahara. Around 90 percent of these cases occurred in Nigeria alone.

Complex circumstances

Although the connections in each country are individually complex, there is still a common thread. Extremist Islamic groups are taking advantage of the unstable conditions. In addition, there were government changes in individual countries through military coups. Military governments are rarely favorable to religious minorities, the organization said.

Authoritarian regimes such as Russia and China have a major influence on the deterioration of the situation for Christians. Autocratic regimes in Africa received support from China to build infrastructure. African governments spend around $1 billion a year on surveillance technologies and the technology comes from China’s Huawai, which is penetrating the markets.

Open Doors establishes its connection with the Russian government through the presence of private mercenaries from the Wagner Group. There is an assumption that this group has close connections with Moscow. The presence of the Wagner Group in African countries, such as Mali and Burkina Faso, has significantly restricted the living space for Christians.

Violence explosion in India

Taj Mahal

Persecution of Christians is increasing dramatically in India

Open Doors has noticed a significant increase in violence against Christians in India. The now most populous country in the world has increased attacks against people of Christian faith. The 2022 Persecution Index counted 10 Christians murdered in India. In 2023 there were already 17 deaths. For the year 2024, the organization counted a total of 160 murdered Christians. The number of attacks on Christian churches, schools and institutions recently rose to 2,228 (2022: 47). While around 380 Christians were expelled from their homes and regions in 2022, the number was already 62,000 people in the 2024 report.

Unchanged in first place – North Korea

North Korea remains the number one country in the world where there is extreme persecution of believers. In general, there is no freedom of religion or belief in North Korea. People identified as Christians are being deported in North Korea. Their family members are treated as political criminals, sent to a labor camp or killed immediately. A law against “reactionary ideas” passed in 2020 also added the Bible to the list of banned books.

The 10 countries with the highest levels of persecution

The following list shows the countries in the top 10 positions where the Christian population is most exposed to persecution.

Position Country
1 North Korea
2 Somalia
3 Libya
4 Eritrea
5 Yemen
6 Nigeria
7 Pakistan
8 Sudan
9 Iran
10 Afghanistan

Die Lage wird sich weiter zuspitzen

Pursuit transformation

Persecutions seem to serve transformation

The increase in persecution against people of the Christian faith by extreme Islamism and for political-ideological reasons is a sign of the times. Christianity is increasingly in trouble. In numerous countries for many years and in other countries potentially due to the ongoing immigration of religiously motivated opponents of Christianity. An easing of the situation looks different. In view of the desired “transformation”, the worsening situation could even be beneficial, because Christianity according to the Gospel is at the absolute center of the things to be eradicated. The final persecution of God’s people described in the Bible has a “slightly” different picture anyway (Info).

Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
Romans 12:14

Bible verses from King James Version

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