10 life-changing moments from the persecuted church in 2015

We asked our CEO, Mike, to tell us what has challenged or encouraged him in his faith this year. These were his answers…

1. Indonesia: ‘We will not stop hunting Christians’

Indonesia

We will not stop hunting Christians’ – these have to be some of the most chilling words I heard from last year, words used by extremists after they had burnt this church down. This image really brings to life the reality of persecution in Indonesia. It’s an image that for me really conveys stress, anxiety, pressure and fear.

2. Egypt: 21 Christians killed, Believers respond with love Continue reading

It took far more than courage for Brother Andrew to load his VW with Bibles and drive to the border checkpoint of communist countries. He knew his car would be searched by Soviet Border Troops. It took trust in God’s call to take the scriptures to believers behind the Iron Curtain, and inside the Berlin wall to East Germany.

Recently, twenty-nine Open Doors supporters from six countries embarked on a two-week adventure, tracing the roots of Open Doors in Central Europe. You might call it following the pathway of a pioneer – remembering 60 years of serving the Persecuted Church. One of these supporters, who also works for Open Doors, went along and wrote about their experience.

THE CHECKPOINT AND THE HIDDEN BIBLES

One of our first stops, we went to a now abandoned checkpoint. Teams once took campervans lined with bibles through here, praying the ‘Smuggler’s Prayer’ – “Lord Jesus, when you were upon earth you made blind eyes see…I pray now you make seeing eyes blind.” Guards turned a blind eye and allowed people to pass through the border gates unrestricted. Continue reading

Indonesia Church Closures

A church set on fire by Islamic Extremists in Aceh, Indonesia.

A church set on fire by Islamic Extremists in Aceh, Indonesia.

A church was burnt down and a further nine destroyed by police in Aceh, Indonesia. A large mob set fire to one church and threatened others before being disbanded and congregation members wept as they watched police destroy other churches.

On the 6 October a large crowd of Islamic Extremists gathered to protest the continued use of unregistered church buildings. After this demonstration and ongoing demands for closures, the local regency agreed that 10 unregistered church buildings in the area would be closed.

Not satisfied with the response of the government, a text message was sent around to local Islamic groups, encouraging them to destroy any local churches that were unregistered. On 13 October, a large crowd of Muslims marched around government offices before setting fire to and destroying the International Christian Church. Continue reading