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Five reasons why you should care about the World Watch List

Five reasons why you should care about the World Watch List

Five reasons why you should care about the World Watch List

13 January 2021

Many Christians around the world face persecution because of their faith. (Image supplied by Open Doors)

By Murray Noble

The World Watch List ranks the top 50 most dangerous places to be a Christian. But why does it matter? Here are my top five reasons why you should care about the World Watch List: 


Murray Noble is a communications specialist and researcher for Open Doors Australia.

  1. It reveals the reality of following Jesus

More than 340 million Christians face persecution today. That’s one in eight believers who choose to put their safety, their livelihoods, their privacy and even their lives on the line. All to follow Jesus.

The World Watch List exposes the true reality of following Jesus around the world and illustrates just what sacrifices are made by those who share our faith, but not our freedom.

  1. It shows where God is at work

Persecution exists wherever the gospel is shared. In order to stop persecution, all we would have to do is tell people to stop sharing the gospel. But in accordance with Jesus’ call for those who love him (Matthew 28), together, we are working to strengthen the Church to continue sharing the transformational message of the gospel, even in the hardest places.

The World Watch List reveals to us where following Jesus is most dangerous. With this, we know God is at work in these nations and the message of the gospel is being shared, no matter the cost.

  1. It indicates where your support is most needed

As persecution in each country changes and the situation shifts, it’s important that we adapt and consider how we can best serve our persecuted brothers and sisters. This could include prayer, discipleship, emergency relief or community development.

Even the Bibles delivered by Open Doors are requested by our local partners for a specific person, church or pastor. That means every Bible has a destination and a purpose. It is the World Watch List that helps us adjust to meet the needs of persecuted church.

  1. It is the most authoritative list of its kind

For 30 years, Open Doors has produced an annual World Watch List. It is compiled by a group of experts, one director and five persecution analysts, who focus on a particular region. Each are experts in their field of study with postgraduate or doctoral qualifications.

The list is then audited externally by the International Institute for Religious Freedom and is accepted as the most authoritative list of its kind. By exploring the World Watch List, you are equipping yourself with some of the most reliable research found on Christian persecution today.

  1. It teaches us to follow Jesus, no matter the cost

The persecuted church are the best mentors for our faith. These are Christians who have truly learnt the cost of following Jesus. And yet, they continue to faithfully follow him, no matter the cost.

While exposing the lived reality of millions of Christians around the world, the World Watch List reminds us that we shouldn’t try to avoid persecution. Rather, we should be running towards it with courageous obedience, knowing that wherever the gospel is being shared, persecution exists.

Murray Noble is a leading researcher at Open Doors Australia


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