News Release

Christian persecution is any hostility experienced as a result of proclaiming the name of Jesus. It can look different for each of the millions of believers who face persecution every day. Some experience rejection and isolation from their families, friends and communities. Others are denied access to basic needs like water, food and health care. Some face violent abuse, imprisonment and even death. Open Doors exists to serve and strengthen persecuted Christians.

22nd Aug 2019

Today Marks the First Ever International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence based on Religion or Belief

Toronto, Canada, August 22nd, 2019- In May, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly passed* a resolution designating August 22nd as the International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief. Read More


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Open Doors Canada is affiliated with Open Doors International, a global ministry which has supported and strengthened persecuted Christians in over 60 countries for over 60 years. ODI raised approximately US $70 million last year to provide practical support to persecuted Christians such as food, medicines, trauma care, legal assistance, safe houses and schools, as well as spiritual support through Christian literature, training and resources.

Every year Open Doors publishes the World Watch List - a ranking of the 50 countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian. This is produced using detailed information provided by Open Doors co-workers in more than 60 countries, as well as independent experts. Data is gathered on five spheres of life - private, family, community, national and church life- plus a sixth sphere measuring the degree of violence impacting Christians. Persecution in each country is recorded by Open Doors using a point system. Open Doors' research methods and results have been independently audited by the International Institute for Religious Freedom. The 2017 World Watch List accounts for the 12 months ending 31 October 2016.

The Open Doors World Watch List is the only instrument that measures the persecution of Christians annually. Its methodology is designed to track how the exercise of the Christian faith gets squeezed in five distinct areas - private life, family life, community life, national life and church life - as well as covering violence such as rapes, killings and church burnings. Dr Ronald Boyd-MacMillan, Director of Research at Open Doors International, explains why: "It is possible for persecution to be so intense in all areas of life that Christians fear to witness at all. You may find very low levels of violence as a result, because incidents of violent persecution are often a response to acts of witness."