Quick Facts


  • In the 25 years that statistics have been kept, the persecution of Christians has reached record numbers each year for the past three years with 2016 being the worst year yet. (Source: Open Doors USA *)
  • Millions of Christians face interrogation, arrest, torture, and/or death because of their religious convictions and cultural/ethnic identification (Source: Open Doors USA)
  • While about 30 percent of the world’s population identifies as Christian, 80 percent of all acts of religious discrimination are directed at Christians. (Source: International Society for Human Rights)
  • Groups such as Daesh (ISIS) have committed genocide. (Source: U.S Secretary of State John Kerry, March 17, 2016)
  • Ten years ago there were nearly one million Christians in Iraq, with a large majority in Mosul. Today, there are just a few dozen in that city. (Source: Open Doors USA)
  • Each year, more than 3,800 Christians are killed for their faith, more than 2,400 Churches and Christian properties are destroyed, and some 9,200 forms of violence are committed against Christians. (Source: Open Doors USA).
  • Christians face persecution in more than 60 Countries (Source: U.S. State Department)
  • Between 2007 and 2014, Christians have been targeted for harassment in more countries than any other religious group. (Source: Pew Research)
  • Religious persecution was the focus of only 2.5 percent of reports published by Human Rights Watch between 2008 and mid-2011. Fewer than half of those reports focused on Christian persecution. (Source: Under Caesar’s Sword **).
  • Christian responses to persecution are almost always nonviolent and, with very few exceptions, do not involve acts of terrorism. (Source: Under Caesar’s Sword)

* Open Doors USA is a non-profit organization based in Santa Ana, California.
** Under Caesar’s Sword is a research project that is a partnership of Notre Dame and Georgetown universities.

Further Reading