Saudi Arabia

All Saudis are considered Muslims, and the legal system is based on Sharia, or Islamic law. There are no church buildings in the country; Christian services are held in secret places. Christians from Muslim backgrounds usually keep their faith hidden; several have been forced to leave the country after their . . . Read More


Christians account for only around 5% of Senegal’s population, and have lived among their nearly unanimously Muslim neighbours without incident for generations. Senegal’s first president, who held office from 1960-80, was a Christian. The country is regarded as a model of stability and democracy in Africa. Still, the government worries . . . Read More


The militant Islamist group Al-Shabaab, founded in Somalia, says it wants the country to be “free of all Christians”. The group is able to act with impunity in Somalia’s lawless and tribal society. Many tribal leaders see being Somali and being Muslim as one and the same, and leaving Islam as a . . . Read More

South Korea

In South Korea today, about a third of the population is Christian. This phenomenal growth (from just 2% before the Korean War) can be explained partly by social and economic factors. The 1950s were dark days, following that war. There was a sense of national emergency to rebuild the country . . . Read More

South Sudan

The world’s newest country is also among the most fragile and troubled. The jubilation of independence in 2011 quickly soured when a personal feud between President Salva Kiir and Vice President Riek Machar took an ethnic line and pit the two dominant tribes in the country against each other. Machar . . . Read More

Sri Lanka

Ostensibly a secular state, Sri Lanka’s new Constitution emphasises that Buddhism is the state religion, while belief in Buddhist supremacy remains widespread. Buddhist monks, who are influential in the villages, are the main source of pressure on Christians. Church services and prayer meetings have been stopped and church buildings attacked by . . . Read More


Sharia (Islamic law) is the foundation of Sudan’s legal system, and leaving Islam is punishable by death; Christians who talk about their faith can be accused of an “act that encourages apostasy”. Christianity is seen as Western, making it a political target. Several Christians have been imprisoned in recent years, . . . Read More


In the midst of the civil war, churches and Christian-owned businesses have been targets of bombings by the Islamic State and other extremist groups, and there have been many reports of Christians being abducted, harmed and killed. Even so, many of Syria’s remaining Christians are committed to staying and rebuilding . . . Read More


The Tajikistan government puts intense pressure on all “deviating” groups, which includes Christians. Increasingly restrictive legislation has been imposed in the past few years. A youth law, in particular, has left Christians in legal limbo, as it is not obvious what is allowed. Churches that are active in evangelism endure . . . Read More


Religiously, Tanzania is split. Mainland Tanzania, historically, has been influenced by Christianity and socialism. The mainly Muslim population of the Zanzibar Archipelago wants recognition from the central government and a proposed Constitution is making provision for courts governed by Sharia (Islamic law). Violence against Christians at the hands of Islamic . . . Read More