March 2017 – For the first time, the U.S. was listed as one of 12 countries to watch in regard to persecution. The U.S. was placed in the “New and Noteworthy” category of the Hall of Shame list compiled by anti-persecution advocate International Christian Concern. The other two categories on the 2017 list are “Worst of the Worst” and “Core Countries,” which include North Korea, Egypt, and India, among others.
Inclusion in the New and Noteworthy category is not meant to imply that these countries are anywhere near the same levels of persecution experienced in the Worst of the Worst or Core Countries. It is meant to warn of declines in religious freedom that could lead to increased persecution.
Meanwhile, a similar ministry, Open Doors USA, noted that persecution against Christians increased in 2016. The number one agent cited in that increase was Islamic extremism. Aside from North Korea, the top nine countries experiencing extreme persecution are predominately Islamic. Open Doors also points to growth in persecution from government in central Asia and from tribal antagonism in African nations.
onenewsnow.com 1/9/17; persecution.org, 1/3/17