Attacks against Christians on the rise globally

In 2015 the number of Christians killed in religious violence incidents saw an increase worldwide, but especially in areas where extremism among Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus are on the rise, according to Dutch non-profit organization Open Doors' annual Christian Persecution Rankings, NU reports.

Open Doors registered a total of 7,100 deaths, 3 thousand more than in 2014, according to the organization. Last year also saw 2,425 more churches damaged or destroyed than in 2014. "The actual numbers are even higher, because it is extremely difficult in some countries to record incidents. Think of North Korea and Syria", director Ruud Kraan said to NU.

North-Korea is number one on the Christian Persecution list for the 14th time. Second and third place goes to Iraq and Eritrea. Libya, where terrorist organization Islamic State is gaining more of a foothold, reached the top 10 for the first time this year.

New to the list are Bahrian and Niger, 48th and 49th place respectively. Both countries saw a strong increase in Islamic extremism.

According to the organization, countries increasingly need to get higher scores to even make the list. "A country like Sri Lanka fell out of the rankings this year. Not because the Christians are doing better, but because Christian persecution in other countries is simply worse", Kraan explained. "For the same reason some countries moved down the rankings while their scores remained the same or were even slightly higher than last year."

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