The Christian rights organization International Christian Concern (ICC) has identified Nigeria, the Taliban and Kim Jong Un as the worst Christian persecutors of the year.

According to a 150-page report naming 24 of the world’s worst oppressors of Christian minorities, the three groups and individuals each received the top spot in their respective categories. 

2021 is the first year that the ICC has unveiled its Persecutor of the Year Award and is an evolution of the organization’s past Hall of Shame. 

Nigeria received the top spot as the worst country for religious freedom in 2021. 

“Nigeria is one of the deadliest places on Earth for Christians, as 50,000 to 70,000 have been killed since 2000. Nigeria is home to the infamous Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram, which has displaced millions of people and killed tens of thousands of others,” the report described. 

“Fulani militants killed more Christians in the past several years than Boko Haram and have displaced Christian farmers. In addition, conservative Islamic communities have allowed the forceful conversion and marriage of young Christian women and discriminated against Christians seeking employment.”

According to ICC President Jeff King, Nigeria has waged a “20-year war against Christians.” 

“There are millions, literally millions, 3-plus million Christians displaced,” said King who also noted the Nigerian government’s inaction to address the persecutions. 

“Their homes have been stolen, their lands have been stolen, their farms have been stolen.”

The group identified as the Persecutor of the Year was the Taliban. According to the report, the Taliban have been “going door-to-door to find out who is and isn’t going to the mosque” and making threats against Christians. 

According to King, Christians in Afghanistan are “tortured and given a chance to turn back to Islam. If you don’t, you’re going to be tortured more to find out what other Christians you know and then you’re killed.”

As for the worst individual Persecutor of the Year, North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un took the top spot. 

King noted that 30,000 Christians in North Korea have been estimated to be sent to prison camps, while over a million have been killed. 

The Kim dynasties have tortured and killed millions of Christians over the decades. And I think we are familiar that it’s very common for the Kims or … the regime put away three generations of one family when they’re identified as serious Christians,” said King. 

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