According to the human rights organization Open Doors, the number of Christians in the world subjected to persecution — 245 million — is 14% higher than it was a year ago.
In its 2019 World Watch List, Open Doors reports:
“In seven out of the top 10 World Watch List countries, the primary cause of persecution is Islamic oppression. This means, for millions of Christians — particularly those who grew up Muslim or were born into Muslim families — openly following Jesus can have painful consequences. They can be treated as second-class citizens, discriminated against for jobs or even violently attacked.”
The report also states that Muslim converts to Christianity in countries governed by sharia [Islamic] law face the most severe persecution, both by the state and by family, friends and community. The following are examples from the report:
In Iran, “Converts from Islam face persecution from the government; if they attend an underground house church, they face the constant threat of arrest.”