New Data Suggests 2021 Saw ‘Seismic Global Shift’ in Religious Persecution

There is a new top perpetrator of religious persecution, according to Open Doors’ forthcoming 2022 World Watch List. For the past 20 years, North Korea has appeared at number one on the annual list, which ranks the top 50 countries where it is most difficult and dangerous to be a Christian. However, Open Doors leadership indicates that though North Korea’s religious freedom violations have not improved, conditions have significantly worsened elsewhere in the world, causing a shift in ranking.

Next week, on January 19th, Open Doors USA will make its sobering announcement of what leadership describes as, “the most seismic changes” seen in World Watch List history. The World Watch List is a highly-anticipated, frequently-cited resource for policy makers concerning global religious persecution; and President and CEO David Curry, along with Ambassador Sam Brownback, Senior Fellow at Open Doors USA, will call for bipartisan action.

Curry said, “For more than 20 years, Open Doors’ World Watch List has given us a clear and current picture of religious freedom conditions. But this year’s findings indicate seismic changes in the persecution landscape – and challenge the United States to take action that, according to the report’s conclusions, has never been more critical.”

In the online press conference, Curry will announce Open Doors’ 2022 World Watch List and release new statistics indicating startling changes in religious freedom landscape worldwide. The event will also include expert commentary and horrific first-person accounts.

Press Conference Speakers and Topics include:
• Ambassador Sam Brownback, Senior Fellow at Open Doors USA, addressing the religious freedom impact of the Beijing Winter Olympics and China’s expanding authoritarianism

• Illia Djadi, Open Doors Africa Senior Analyst, discussing the the unimpeded spread of religious violence throughout Sub-saharan Africa

• An Afghan refugee and frontline worker offering first-person stories and describing what’s next for Afghan Christians following the Taliban takeover and developing refugee crisis
WHAT: Digital Press Event – Open Doors’ State of Persecution address and 2022 World
Watch List release

WHO: David Curry, President and CEO of Open Doors USA; Ambassador Sam Brownback,
Senior Fellow, Open Doors, USA; Open Doors’ Africa Senior Analyst, Illia Djadi; Undisclosed victims of persecution from Afghanistan and Nigeria

WHEN: Wednesday, January 19th, 2022 – 10 a.m. ET

WHERE: Register at:

For more information and interview scheduling for David Curry and Ambassador Sam Brownback, please email [email protected].

About Open Doors USA
For more than 60 years, Open Doors USA has worked in the world’s most oppressive and restrictive countries for Christians. For more information, visit

(SOURCE: Open Doors USA)

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