Persecution watchdog and aid organization International Christian Concern (ICC) recently released its annual “Hall of Shame” report for 2016, highlighting the world’s 12 countries that are the worst persecutors of Christians.

Published by Religion News Service, the report divides countries into three categories – “Worst of the Worst,” “Core Countries” and “New and Noteworthy,” which includes the United States, as well as Russia and Mexico. This is the first time the Washington D.C.-based organization, which has assisted persecuted Christians since 1995, has included the United States in its annual “Hall of Shame.”


Image: St Rita's Catholic Church in Kaduna, after a suicide bomb attack in October 2012

ICC’s 15-page report also highlights conditions for Christians in Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, North Korea, Egypt, and Pakistan, among others.

Featured prominently in the report, Saudi Arabia takes the “lead place” in the “core of the Hall of Shame” largely due to its decades-long funding of radical Islamic movements globally. According to the report, Saudi textbooks “can be found in schools across the Muslim world” and “teach discrimination against Christians and Jews while encouraging the spread of Islam through jihad as a religious duty.”

According to ICC, that ranked Nigeria 'Worst of the Worst' Countries persecuting Christians, Christians in central and northern Nigeria face brutal persecution from two armed Islamic militias. Boko Haram terrorizes northern and central Nigeria while Fulani militants wipe Christian farming villages off the map in central Nigeria. Christians are murdered, their churches burned, and their daughters are abducted, raped, and forced to convert to Islam. Over 30,000 Christians were killed in the last 15 years.

According to ICC President, Jeff King,“The amount of violence, imprisonment and discrimination against Christians being reported to us by our networks around the world is simply catastrophic.

The report calls out and shames governments who allow rampant attacks on believers to take place or are directly involved in prosecuting Christians for their faith. It also warns of countries where religious freedom is deteriorating rapidly and serves as a wake-up call for churches around the world, regardless of denomination, to come to the aid of our brothers and sisters who suffer so much for the cause of Christ.”

Again, the list include:
United States,
Iraq and Syria,
North Korea,
Saudi Arabia,