Serving Persecuted Christians World-Wide
For more than 60 years, Open Doors has been serving persecuted Christians. This continues to be essential because over 20% of the countries in the world discriminate against Christians and in many cases persecute us severely. To ensure that believers do not feel alone, Open Doors supplies bibles and other Christian literature to them - by smuggling, if necessary. Some countries, such as North Korea, are so dangerous that individuals and small groups must worship in secret, using hidden bibles. If caught they are liable to be beaten, sent into slave labour, or killed.
Father Daniel, serving in Iraq, and Eddie Lyle, President, Open Doors UK & Ireland, with children at Erbil Trauma Care Centre.
In places such as the North Korean–Chinese borders and the Somalian borders, where Christians in Kenya for example are liable to be abducted and women captured into forced marriage, Open Doors secretly assists the escape to exile of especially endangered individuals. It also uses its local contacts to train leaders - in preaching, pastoral care and in learning how to bear, resist and recover from imprisonment and torture.
It is a hard thing to ask ourselves how we would respond if put under such pressure to renounce our faith. In circumstances where families and children as young as seven, as well as the original victims, are targeted, we can understand the need for absolute secrecy. Open Doors publishes an annual Word Watch List and at present the five countries where suffering is worst are North Korea, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan and Pakistan. Brother Andrew, whose Ministry began in 1955, and who is now aged 90, tells us “Our prayers can go where we cannot. There are no borders, no prison walls, no doors that are closed to us when we pray.”
During the Open Doors Focus Mission quarter, we intend using our notice board to illustrate some more basic facts, plus case studies from selected regions. As well as the horrendous situations where there is gross abuse of fundamental human rights, or total lawlessness, we will include some examples where there are rays of hope – in certain parts of the Middle East, for example.
Please follow our campaign and pray that courage and strength may be given to believers; steadfastness and endurance granted to the workers of Open Doors and to those of HART, who tackle similar problems. Give thanks to God for our lives in this free and very largely honest and incorrupt country (despite how the media may portray it!) Thank Him too that Syrian re-building is ongoing and that there are pastors there who have served Him through all the worst times.