North Korea deemed most dangerous for Christians: report

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For the third year running, North Korea was ranked the world's worst persecutor of Christians, according to a report examined here Tuesday by the Council of Europe.

Hundreds of Christians were arrested in North Korea in 2010, with some killed and others sent to concentration camps, according to the report by Protestant evangelical group Open Doors International (ODI).

Iran, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia ranked just below Pyongyang in the 50-nation ranking of violence perpetrated against Christian communities, according to Open Door's latest World Watch list.

But ODI did note some improvements, including in Mauritania and China, which dropped several notches to 13th and 16th places, respectively.

In China, "there were fewer arrests, thanks doubtlessly to the economic overture," said Michel Varton, president of the Strasbourg-based Open Doors France.

The report was examined on the sidelines of a parliamentary debate at the 47-member Council of Europe on violence perpetrated against Christians in Near and Middle Eastern nations.

© 2011 AFP

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