Christians are being persecuted across India (Image credit: Voice of the Martyrs)

The watchdog organization Open Doors USA says levels of Christian persecution are at a record high around the world.

The group announced the 2021 World Watch List this week. The report ranks the top 50 countries where it is the most dangerous to be a follower of Jesus Christ.

Their latest data indicates one-in-eight Christians now suffer for their religious beliefs worldwide.

In a broadcast carried on CBN News YouTube, Open Doors USA’s CEO David Curry said, “A shocking number this year is that 340 million Christians suffer high levels of persecution and discrimination.”

And the pandemic has even been used as an excuse to increase that persecution. “The COVID pandemic has been used as a justification to exact religious terror. The interconnectivity of technology, in the hands of evil actors, has massive human rights implications for everybody with a smartphone,” Curry said.

The top 10 countries on the World Watch List include North Korea, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Eritrea, Yemen, Iran, Nigeria, and India.

Reasons for persecution range from communist oppression to Islamic oppression and Hindu nationalism.