Young Iraqi refugees in Erbil, Kurdistan, in 2014.
Young Iraqi refugees in Erbil, Kurdistan, in 2014.
Open Doors

The World Watch List is an annual report prepared and published by the World Watch Research team of Open Doors. It ranks the 50 countries where it is most difficult to profess and practice the Christian faith.

The research team surveys religious freedom for Christians in five areas of life:

  • Private
  • Family
  • Community
  • National
  • The Church

Separately, the team also measures violence against Christians.

Learn more: A description of the 5 affected areas of life

For each country surveyed, scores for each of the six categories are combined to create a total score. The scores determine the country’s ranking on the World Watch List.

See the 2019 World Watch List here

Interactive map of 2019 World Watch List countries. Dark red represents extreme persecution. Zoom out to see all 50 countries. Click on individual countries for details.

Note: This interactive map does not include the Maldives, ranked No. 14, an archipelago about 400 kilometres southwest of India, in the Indian Ocean

Beginning with the 2014 World Watch List, the research methods used by Open Doors have been audited by the International Institute for Religious Freedom, which researches the persecution of adherents of any religion. The institute, which is independent of Open Doors, assesses the methodology, processes, design and questionnaire of the World Watch List.

List of Open Doors affiliate websites where the 2019 World Watch List can be found