One Christian is martyred every five minutes, persecution watchdog reports

A protester attends a rally by hundreds of Christians against attacks on churches nationwide, in Mumbai February 9, 2015.Reuters

A Christian persecution watchdog has released statistics suggesting a Christian is martyred for their faith every five minutes.

Christian Freedom International has found that more than 200 million followers are facing persecution in 105 countries. This makes Christianity the most persecuted religion in the world.

The report has found that more Christians have been martyred in the 20th and 21st centuries than during the previous 19 combined.

Opens Doors has released a global map showing the distribution of Christian persecution around the world.

North Korea is at the top of the list, followed by Somalia and Iraq. Most of the 50 countries listed are either in the Middle East or Africa.

As part of this year's International Day of Prayer, 8 November, CFI are encouraging Christians to join them in praying for those who are persecuted.

"[Persecuted believers] are your Christian family throughout the world," said Jim Jacobson, president of CFI. "Pray for their safety; that they would be emboldened to continue sharing the Gospel even in the face of persecution; that their persecutors would also come to know Christ as they observe the courageous witness of these believers."

CFI has released a video in the run up to the International Day of Prayer: