Open Doors – Open Eyes
The word convicted is usually associated with a negative connotation for example, when a person is ‘convicted’ of theft or assault. Through hearing the stories of those brave enough to lay down their life for their faith in God, I have been convicted about my own faith in God. Would I be willing to give my life up for the sake of Christ?
We attend church, we read the bible, we worship God, maybe raising our arms in a song every once and a while and of course we remember to pray… when we need something. Up until now I had thought this level of faith was enough, that Jesus was satisfied with our own version of Christianity. I mean I did all of these things, plus I served in the worship team at youth group, I was thinking I had my version of Christianity down pat. Then I heard about the persecuted. Continue reading
History of the World Watch List
On 15 July 1955, a young Dutch Christian man called Andrew took the train to a mass communist convention in Warsaw, Poland. In his suitcase, he carried booklets, titled ‘The Way of Salvation’, to make sure that he could share the Gospel in the midst of communist rhetoric, oppression and thinking.
A country behind the Iron Curtain, Poland steered towards the end of the severely repressive Stalinist era. In the country, Andrew heard the story of the persecuted Church firsthand. He began telling the story of this persecuted Church back home and supporting them, bringing Bibles in a Volkswagen Beetle. It was the beginning of Open Doors, sixty years later grown into an international ministry serving the persecuted Church around the world.
Nowadays, the World Watch List is Open Doors’ main tool of measuring persecution and listing where Christian faith costs the most. In 1955, such a list did not exist. However, looking back over sixty years of serving the persecuted Church – and with today’s knowledge – what countries could have ended up in a 1955 World Watch List? Continue reading
WATCH: Passion – Peter in Eritrea
Peter’s full story…
Peter, John and Paul were all imprisoned for their faith.
Peter was arrested when authorities stormed their secret Christian meeting. For almost six years he was held without charges and frequently moved to different prisons. He met John and Paul at the last prison.
“We were asked many times to recant [their Christian faith]. But we refused. And when we refused, we were punished. Sometimes we were not given food or water and made to work in the hot sun hungry. Sometimes we got tied up in the helicopter position and left in the sun for many hours. That was very painful. The police threatened to arrest our other family members also if we refused to recant and sign the document. But all times, we refused because we do not want to leave Jesus.” Continue reading
Christians around the world have expressed their condemnation of the tragic death of 21 Coptic Christian men in Libya in February. The Egyptian church continues to be an unwavering light in the midst of this dark situation. A Christian leader in the country writes:
“I stand in awe before the one who once taught us to love beyond what is reasonable according to human logic. By teaching these words, our Lord Jesus has truly introduced a new hope to humanity that didn’t exist before. Hatred is obviously embedded into the human nature since the fall of mankind described in Genesis 3. However Jesus’ call to show love and forgiveness to enemies and persecutors caused victory over that fallen nature. Continue reading