How many Christians are under threat of persecution?

An initial assessment of approaches


  • Christof Sauer


religious persecution, Christians, demography, statistics, Pew Research Center, Center for the Study of Global Christianity, Open Doors International


This article examines published data from three organizations, each of which contributes in some way to a global quantification of the number of persecuted Christians. Their results depend on the delimitation of the phenomena measured and the thresholds applied. In addition, varying estimates on the number of Christians in individual countries strongly influence the outcome. The different approaches and results are compared and interpreted, and their usefulness is queried. In closing, some recommendations are made regarding the use of the data.