Open Doors, a prominent Christian NGO that supports the persecuted church, has released it's latest annual ranking of the worst 50 states for persecuting Christians. As ever, North Korea tops the list, and as ever, the rest of the top 10 are Muslim nations. Pakistan this year rose from number 14 to number 8, ranked as just worse than the theocratic state of Iran!. The group also documented the number of demonstrable martyrdoms of Christians, which they say in 2013 nearly doubled from 2012 - from just over 1000, to just over 2000. Over half of these occurred in Syria. However, it should be noted that these are very conservative figures - and that most estimates are much higher, with one expert estimating that a Christian is martyred every 5 minutes - so about 105,000 a year. The reports figures for martyrdoms in Pakistan indicate an increase of nearly 600%, as a result of the Peshawar church suicide bomb attack, rising from 15 in 2012 to 88 in 2013.
Background note on martyrdom : It is often stated that martyrdom is more common now than at any time in church history. This is true in terms of absolute numbers, but it is manifestly not true in terms of the proportion of Christians being killed, which is far smaller than it has been in the past. For more information.