A Christian persecution watchdog has released its annual "Hall of Shame" report for 2016. And while it's no surprise that countries like North Korea, China, and Pakistan top the list, one registered country may come as quite a shock.
The report from International Christian Concern divides countries into three categories: "Worst of the Worst," "Core countries," and "New and Noteworthy." Isaac Six, advocacy director for ICC, tells OneNewsNow the United States made it into the latter category, putting it on the list for the first time ever.
"We're not saying that the United States categorically ranks in the top 12 of the worst countries in the world for Christian persecution," Six asserts. "However, we are saying that there are a lot of trends that are very, very concerning and a lot of court cases and incidents and other issues that we think are really cause for alarm."
The spokesman says ICC put America on the list to encourage positive changes, as he suggests the outcome of the recent presidential election was an indication that many Christian voters were afraid of threats to religious freedom and to values that Christians hold dear.
"We do think it's very important … as Christians that we speak the truth in love, and so we're not trying to condemn," Six insists. "But at the same time, we're trying to give our perspective and our point of view and kind of bring a little bit of balance to what we see as a very unbalanced situation."
Russia and Mexico joined the U.S. in the New and Noteworthy category.