North Korea again tops the list of the 50 most dangerous countries to follow Jesus Christ.
The 2019 World Watch List released Wednesday by Open Doors USA highlights where action is desperately needed to protect Christians, according to CNN.
The spread of radical Islam increases the danger for Christians worldwide. “Many Christians are being killed because of their faith,” said Father Daniel Alkhory, an Iraqi native.
Alkhory preaches to nearly 200 families in Iraq where he faces intense persecution by Al-Qaeda.
CBN News asked Alkhory why he stays while other priests have left due to safety concerns.
Two Iranian Christians at their final appeal hearing were ordered by a court to renounce their Christian faith to gain their freedom but they refused to do so.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide said the hearing took place on Tuesday in Tehran, where Christians Saheb Fadaie and Fatemeh Bakhteri were ordered by presiding judges Hassan Babaee and Ahmad Zargar to turn away from their religion.
The believers, who refused to comply, have been convicted of “spreading propaganda against the regime,” and are waiting to hear their final verdict. In September, Fadaie was sentenced to 18 months in prison, along with two years of internal exile, while Bakhteri was sentenced to one year in prison.
The Christians were arrested and convicted for discussing Christian doctrine in a house church, which was deemed to be an attack on Islam, the dominant religion in Iran.
Fadaie is already serving a 10-year prison sentence in the notorious Evin prison in Tehran, convicted in July 2017 along with three other Christians “for acting against national security” by “promoting Zionist Christianity.”
The CSW head insisted that the two Christians deserve due process and to have their verdicts overturned.
“We also continue to urge the Iranian government to cease all forms of harassment and intimidation of peaceable religious communities, and to release all those detained in connection with their religion or belief,” he said.
In October, a ministry helping Iranian believers told The Christian Post that it was witnessing one of the "fastest growing underground church movements" in the world.
Mike Ansari, president of Heart4Iran Ministries, told CP that "the persecution of minorities has been a constant under the current Islamic regime in Iran. The Iranian converts to Christianity have been systematically arrested and persecuted as heretics."
He attested that the persecution is stemming from a "historic and organic growth of Christianity inside Iran, evidenced by one of the fastest growing underground church movements in the world."