World Watch List 2020

Open Doors’ annual list of 50 countries where Christian persecution is most severe

Launched on January 15, 2020

Strengthen and give courage

Your support is vital to help grow the faith of ordinary Christians who live in the most dangerous places on Earth: North Korea and the World Watch List Top Ten.
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2020 World Watch List

The World Watch List is Open Doors’ annual ranking of the top 50 countries where Christians face persecution. It’s a unique, in-depth record of places where faith in Jesus costs the most.

Here’s the top ten:

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

Open Doors magazine | January-March 2020
Christians in different countries experience high levels of persecution. From the period 1 November 2018 to 31 October 2019, here are some of the incidents that happened:

• In Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, more than 250 people (45 of them are children) were killed in attacks on three churches and hotels and more than 500 people were injured.
• In China, state-sanctioned and ‘underground’ churches have been harassed or shut down in at least 23 provinces.
• In Iran, 194 Christians were arrested (114 in one week just before Christmas 2018) and several house churches were raided across nine cities.

Every year, Open Doors releases a list of the 50 countries where Christians face the most extreme persecution. It’s called the World Watch List.

In this magazine, you will see the 2020 World Watch List and the story of a sister in Christ from North Korea. You will also find prayer points for the World Watch List’s top 50 countries in the prayer calendars.

I hope and pray that through these resources, you will not only get a clearer picture of the danger that Christians across the globe face, but also be encouraged by the faith of those who are “persecuted because of righteousness” (Matt. 5:10) and eager to pray and give.

May the Lord bless you as you read!

– BJ (Development Manager, Open Doors Philippines)

Take Action


Lift up your persecuted family to God regularly. Remember them in your daily quiet times, family bondings, Bible study group, ministry gatherings, and church worship services.


Commit through God’s enabling to give monthly, quarterly, or yearly to the persecuted church. Your gift of whatever amount is of great value in empowering persecuted believers around the world.


Mobilize your local church for the persecuted church. Invite us to your church service, prayer gatherings, Bible study groups, missions month activities, school or any other church activity.

…I am still seeking my brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering for their faith—not only because they need me, but because I need them. We are all part of the same fellowship of believers, which the Bible calls the Body of Christ. We need one another. We all have a calling to do God‘s work—together. – Brother Andrew