The communist regime in North Korea has, for the 8th year running, topped the The World Watch List published by Open Doors to understand the unique persecution fingerprint of nations all around the world. The next eight nations on the list are from the Moslem world: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Maldives, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Mauritania. Nigeria (north) is ranked 27 on the infamous list, no thanks to Islamists actions at Maiduguri, Bauchi, Jos, Jigawa etc (http://members.opendoorsusa.org/site/DocServer/WWL2010_test.pdf?docID=5801)
The World Watch List, was started by the Open Doors Research Department in 1991. It examines every aspect of persecution, including the degree of legal restrictions, state attitudes, how free the church is to organize itself, church burnings, anti-Christian riots and the murders of Christians that make headlines.
In North Korea according to the Report, every religious activity in the communist nation is viewed as an insurrection against the dictator, Kim Jong-Il. Arrests, torture and death are routine as North Korean officials desperately try to control all of society.
"Christians are the target of fierce government action, and once caught, are not regarded as human," said a veteran observer of North Korea. According to the president of Open Doors, Carl Moeller, "Last year we had evidence that some were used as guinea pigs to test chemical and biological weapons." Three generations of a family are often thrown into prison when one member is incarcerated.
The good news is that despite such horrible and systematic persecution, the Christian community in North Korea has been growing significantly. Open Doors said it recently provided secret training for 4,000 Christians there, books are being distributed and other outreaches that cannot be publicized are under way. http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=121147
Iran seems determined to displace North Korea from the top of the list of Christian persecutors however. On February 2, the Iranian State Security agents in Isfahan arrested Rev. Wilson Issavi a well respected, humble and devoted servant of the Church while visiting a friend’s home. The pastor, and eight other Christians including his hosts, were thrown into prison at undisclosed location and are currently awaiting charges. Earlier, on January 2, the Iranian government had forced the closure of Rev. Issavi’s church. The Church, the Evangelical Church of Kermanshah, was among the few remaining open churches in the country as at that time.