As many as 215 million followers of Christ around the world are being persecuted because of their faith, according to Open Doors USA's annual World Watch List, which was released Wednesday. The report identified the top 50 nations where Christians are most targeted.
"It's easy to move through life disconnected from what happens to believers in other parts of the world. But this report helps us close the gap between us," said David Curry, CEO of Open Doors, in the full report.
"After all, the World Watch List isn't about the numbers, but the people these numbers represent. I hope you see their stories of victory and resilience, and—more than anything—I hope you see the powerful Kingdom work God is accomplishing in some of the most difficult countries in the world."
In total, Open Doors found that 3,066 Christians were killed last year. Also, 1,252 Christians were abducted, 1,1020 were raped or sexually harassed, and 793 churches were attacked.
North Korea was ranked as the worst country for Christians for the 16th consecutive year, though Islamic oppression was the main source of persecution for eight of the top 10 on the World Watch List.
Life in North Korea remains extremely repressed by the Kim Jong Un government, with Christians arrested for something as simple as owning a Bible.