This year Open Doors is asking churches and small groups in Australia and New Zealand to participate in A Dedicated Faith. We want to see Muslims who are seeking God, find who He truly is and come learn the truth about Jesus. We also want to uplift Christians living in Islamic countries throughout Ramadan.
Ramadan, an opportune time…
Ramadan is a month in the Islamic calendar running from 6 June – 5 July. During these 30 days, Muslims will fast during sunlight hours, and pray in order to get closer to Allah. Muslim’s believe that it was during Ramadan that the first revelations of the Quran were made to Muhammad.
Boko Haram, al-Shabaab – Radical Islam’s other home
Radical Islam is widely known to be active within the Middle East and North Africa. Yet in Nigeria, Islamic extremist group Boko Haram has been labelled the world’s deadliest terror organisation. Compared to the war against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, al-Shabaab’s war in Somalia is virtually unheard of. While we know al-Qaeda works in places like Afghanistan, Australian missionaries Ken and Jocelyn Elliot were kidnapped by al-Qaeda in Burkina Faso.
Islamic extremism is on the rise in Sub-Saharan Africa, yet it remains relatively unknown. Continue reading
Image above: Mellina and Hadija
Hadija was born into a Muslim family in a small Ugandan fishing town on the shores of Lake Victoria. Aged five, she began secretly attending church, stirred by the singing she heard coming from the church near her home.
When her father found out he warned her to stop, promising to beat her should she disobey. She chose to endure the weekly beatings rather than stop attending church. Continue reading
In the Horn of Africa, the number of Muslim Background Believers (MBBs) has increased radically despite the high cost conversion. Recently Open Doors workers met with several MBBs, including 20 year old Hawa.
Hawa* from the Horn of Africa.
Street scene in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, part of the Horn of Africa. The Horn of Africa region includes Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia.
Awel* is a tall, thin man. His lanky body clad in a bright red sarong, a well-worn shirt and a jacket fraying at the seams. But he is full of joy and greeted visitors on a recent trip loudly, with the only English word he knew.
Pointing a bony finger to the sky he burst out, “Jesus!” Continue reading
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’
‘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
In Africa, there are Christian communities that are denied access to daily essentials, such as safe drinking water, healthcare, education and work. For seven years, Open Doors has been running ‘Walk to Water’, an event aimed at raising awareness and funds to strengthen the church in Africa. We do this by providing necessities such as safe drinking water, infrastructure, healthcare, education, vocational training, and micro-loans.
Walk to Water and support Christians in Africa
Business Training course
Christians also face the threat of extremist groups, such as Boko Haram and al-Shabaab. Continue reading