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A space for resources to help RE teachers and their students explore the Christian faith
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Lat Blaylock, Editor, RE Today

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Social Justice: Lesson 1 - What is Persecution?

An Open Doors lesson plan with resources

Open Doors is a Christian organisation that provides support to persecuted Christians across the world. They estimate that there are over 340 million Christians suffering persecution across the world today.

As of October 3, 2023, the five worst countries to live in the world as a Christian are:

  1. North Korea
  2. Somalia
  3. Yemen
  4. Eritrea
  5. Libya

A staggering 5,621 Christians were murdered for their faith last year, 89% of whom were in Nigeria. Additionally, 140,000 Christians were displaced due to persecution, the majority of whom are from Myanmar.

The rankings change regularly, but you can read the full, up-to-date list here.

The map below shows where Christians are persecuted in the world, with the countries shaded in orange and red showing where the persecution is. The countries shaded in red indicate those where Christians are treated the worse.

In these and other countries, at best Christians experience discrimination; at worst death. In many of the countries on the Open Doors list Christians have to meet in secret. Sadly, it is estimated that 4,761 Christians were killed last year across the world because of their faith. In the worst of these countries, for example, North Korea, many Christians are rounded up and placed in labour camps, where conditions are so appalling many don't come out alive. In still other countries, Christians are simply killed for not converting to the ruling party's faith.

Open Doors raises awareness of the issues that these Christians face so that the worldwide Church can pray for them, whilst also raising money to help support them in any way they can. They often send Bible resources to Christians unable to buy any. Over the previous year, it has been involved in sending vaccines and COVID aid to those Christians unable to access them.

Download the lesson plan and click on the link below to get the PPTs which are designed to help you explore this topic with your students.

GCSE Lesson 1 - Plan & Handouts

GCSE Lesson 1 - Plan & Handouts (Welsh language)

If you'd like to use the accompanying PPT and videos alongside these resources, please click here.

You can find the second lesson in this series here.