Leah Barkoukis
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Open Doors, a persecution watchdog group, is out with its 2014 World Watch List, which ranks 50 countries where the persecution of Christians for religious reasons is most severe, according to the report.

The organization looks at “violence, government pressures, and other related indicators” to collectively assess countries, according to The Blaze, which spoke with the group’s CEO and President Dr. David Curry. Their ranking methodology is explained in more detail here.

“Not every circumstance is the same. For example, in North Korea, you have a quasi-Stalinist government that is the most difficult place to call yourself a Christian on the planet — and has been for the last 12 years,” he noted.

But while North Korea’s government is the real culprit, in places like Iraq, “roving extremist groups” are waging attacks against Christians, while government officials are seemingly powerless to stop the carnage, he explained.

The 10 worst countries in the world to be a Christian, according to the list, are as follows:

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“We’re going to motivate the U.S. to pay attention to this issue as a critical component of creating free societies and to support Christians wherever they may be in the world," Curry told The Blaze. “I would say that every significant data point on this year’s ’2014 Watch List’ is worse — and I think a factor in it is a lack of leadership from Western governments including … the U.S. in terms of religious freedom."

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Leah Barkoukis

Leah Barkoukis is the Assistant Editor at Townhall.com/Townhall Magazine.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography