Christian persecution in Africa is on the rise. As part of this global family, we need to ask the question – how can we help? But first, what does persecution look like in Africa?
What’s it like to be a Christian in Ethiopia?
In some regions of Ethiopia, radical Islam is growing and Christians are becoming more and more vulnerable. Some Muslims harass Christians and deny them access to public resources. Some tribes also pose a threat to Christianity, they demand loyalty from members and see faith as a denial of tribal identity.
What’s it like to be a Christian in Nigeria?
The Islamic militant group Boko Haram have destroyed many churches and left Christians traumatised. Thousands have been kidnapped, including the 200 Chibok girls. Christian communities are also often denied basic living needs like clean water, health clinics or new roads.
READ: Mother’s Day for over 200 Mothers of the Kidnapped Chibok Girls Continue reading
Today marks one year since the horrific Garissa University attack that killed 147* students in Kenya.
Al-Shabaab militants stormed the University campus in Garissa – in Kenya’s volatile east, near the Somali border – and slaughtered mostly Christian students.
The attackers arrived early in the morning, cornered students at morning prayers, killed them. They then roved through the dorms to separate Christians from the remaining students and killing the Christians. A sniper waited outside to kill those who tried to flee. The siege lasted 15 hours. Continue reading
Will the church be destroyed by extremists?
‘Islamic extremism’ was the main source of persecution in 70% of the countries on the World Watch List 2016 (WWL). We take a closer look at these countries and how local Christians are responding. 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
Bless Those Who Persecute You (Image by Leonard Sweet)
“Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them: pray that God will bless them”– Romans 12:14
I often find it really difficult to know how to pray for the Persecuted Church, especially when I read Paul’s words in Romans 12 and even more so when I think about what an incredibly challenging start to the year it’s been as we see the need for our ministry only increase which means that conditions for Christians all over the world are deteriorating.
I am sure you’ll remember on the Easter weekend in April this year 147 students were killed in Kenya with many of them being asked if they were Christian or Muslim before being shot, it was this tragedy that turned my prayer life on its head and I’d love to tell you why. As I processed what had happened in Kenya I saw fear, hatred, selfishness, a lack of grace, compassion and love and what’s crazy is I saw all of these emotions in me! It’s the moment in time I realized that I might pray everyday for the suffering church but unless I am courageous enough to pray for those committing these crimes… well, I’m just not living an authentic faith or being an authentic leader of this ministry. Continue reading
On April 2nd at least 148 people died in an Al-Shabaab attack at a Garissa University campus. The attackers demanded that each student state their faith, shooting Christians and allowing to Muslims leave. Shortly after the attack took place, Open Doors field workers visited Garissa to encourage the Christians and assess their needs. In Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, Open Doors staff also visited a local morgue to encourage and strengthen the families of those still searching for their loved ones among the victims. Open Doors has since caught up with a number of survivors to encourage them and offer them the support they so desperately need at a time such as this.
Frederick (Fred) Gitonga, 21-year-old Chairman of the Moi University Christian Students Union, miraculously survived the attack. He spoke to Open Doors about his experience. Continue reading