UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Members Review: Eritrea


Fifty Most Dangerous Countries To Follow Jesus.[1]Open Doors World Watch List (ranked 1 to 50) (1 = Worst)

. STATUS: Not Free
Aggregate Score [2]Freedom in the World 2018 Table of Country Aggregate Freedom Score {0 = least free, 100 = most free}

(0% = least – 100% = most)


US Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2017


Eritrea is a highly centralized, authoritarian regime under the control of President Isaias Afwerki. The People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ), headed by the president, is the sole political party. There have been no national-level elections since the country’s independence from Ethiopia in 1993.

Civilian authorities in the regime generally maintained effective control over most security forces.

The most significant human rights issues included arbitrary deprivation of life; disappearances; torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment by security forces, including for political and religious beliefs; harsh prison and detention center conditions; arbitrary arrest; denial of fair public trial; arbitrary or unlawful interference with privacy, family, or home; restrictions on freedoms of speech and press; restrictions on internet freedom, academic freedom, and cultural events; restrictions on freedom of peaceful assembly, association, and religion; limits on freedom of internal movement and foreign travel; inability of citizens to choose their government in free and fair elections; corruption and lack of transparency; restrictions on international nongovernmental organizations; violence against women and girls, including in military camp settings and national service positions; human trafficking; criminalization of same-sex sexual conduct; and forced labor, including forced participation in the country’s national service program, routinely for periods beyond the 18-month legal obligation.

The government did not generally take steps to investigate, prosecute, or punish officials who committed human rights abuses. Impunity for such abuses was the norm.



a. US Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor: state.gov

b. Freedom in the World 2018  Table of Country Aggregate Score: freedomhouse.org

c. Top anti-Semitism nations ranked 1-10 Jewish perspective: timesofisrael.com

d. ADL-Global 4,161,578,905 Total adult population of countries surveyed: global100.adl.org

e. Executive Summary Source: state.gov


1 Open Doors World Watch List 
2 Freedom in the World 2018 Table of Country Aggregate Freedom Score

World Watch List – Country Profiles

Open Doors Logo (01) feature

World Watch List 2016: Released

The list showing the countries where Christians are persecuted most, has just been released. Resources will be available from 1 February.

The countries listed below make up the current World Watch List – a yearly ranking of the top 50 countries where persecution of Christians is the most intense. Click on a country to read about its current situation.

Source: World Watch List – Country Profiles

World Watch List: 10 the hardest places to be a Christian…

Open Doors Logo (01) feature

open-doors-world-watch-list-042015 marks 60 years since Open Doors began, established by Brother Andrew, a Dutch Christian who wanted to share the Bible with his persecuted brothers and sisters behind the Iron Curtain. What blessings God has given Open Doors since then! We now work in more than 60 countries and share God’s word in some of the most restricted nations on earth.

One important part of our ministry over many recent years has been the annual Open Doors World Watch List. Since 2003, through research conducted by contacts and leaders in the field, Open Doors have ranked the Top 50 countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.

Although Open Doors and our supporters have been aware of the suffering faced by Christians for many decades, the past 12 months, particularly, have seen a wave of persecution directed at Christian communities making international headlines. The Islamic State sweeping across Iraq and the civil war in Syria seeing scores killed and displacing hundreds of thousands of people, the April kidnapping of more than 250 girls from the predominately Christian village of Chibok in Nigeria, the imprisonment of Christian Meriam Ibrahim in Sudan, the brutal November murder of Christian couple Shama Bibi and Shehzad Masih in Pakistan – the list goes on and on. How does this persecution translate into the newly released World Watch List?

Sadly, despite these well publicised events, North Korea (1) remains the world’s toughest country in which to be a Christian in 2015, for the 13th year in a row.

Life continues to be extremely difficult for believers – even for those who are not amongst the thousands languishing in labour camps, danger can come at any time; in the wake of the kidnapping and arrest of South Korean missionary Kim Jeong-Wook and his public ‘confession’ in February 2014, for example, dozens of people (presumably Christians) were caught and many tortured and murdered.

The Top 10 countries where Christians face the most pressure and violence in 2015 are: 

  1. North Korea (i)
  2. Somalia (i)
  3. Iraq (i)
  4. Syria (i)
  5. Afghanistan (i)
  6. Sudan (i)
  7. Iran (i)
  8. Pakistan (i)
  9. Eritrea (i)
  10. Nigeria (i)

Islamic extremism is a main or contributing factor in 40 countries of the Top 50, but there are many other sources of persecution on the list. ‘Organised corruption’ is the main or contributing cause in 25 countries (including Colombia and Mexico); ‘Dictatorial paranoia’ – where leaders seek to control religious expression – is the primary source of persecution in 13 countries (like North Korea and Eritrea). Many countries have more than one source of persecution, including ‘Tribal Antagonism’ or ‘Communist Oppression’. You can find out more about theses sources of persecution at our World Watch List website.

Whatever the reason, we hope you will join with us in praying for the hundreds of thousands of Christians around the world who have continued to be persecuted for their faith in the past 12 months. As Brother Andrew reminds us: “If we want to leave an indelible mark on the world, there is no more powerful way to do it than by joining in God’s purposes through prayer. Our prayers can go where we cannot.”

You can find more information about the list, including specific prayer points for the Top 10 countries, on our 2015 World Watch List website.