Islamic State defeated in Fallujah – what does it mean for Christians?

A view is seen of streets in Falluja. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

A view is seen of streets in Falluja. Photo: REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

On Monday 23 May, the government offensive to retake the Iraqi city of Fallujah from Islamic State began. Five weeks later, on Sunday 26 June, the Iraqi government declared the city fully liberated and back in government control. 

They have now set their eyes on liberating Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said of the Iraqi flag, “God willing, soon it will be flying in Mosul.” Continue reading

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

I Believe God Has a Solution: 4 things a Syrian Refugee shared with us about the conflict

I Believe God has a Solution: 4 things a Syrian Refugee shared with us about the conflict

At the moment a civil war is waging in Syria. For 4 million people, fleeing their country was the only option, and a further 7.6 million have been left stranded within their own country.

Recently we interviewed a Syrian Christian Refugee who lived in Daraa when the first protests started in 2011. Achmad*, who asked us not to use his real name or say where he is living now, told us…

 

  1. Most people wanted change in the beginning

In 2011, a period of change swept the Arab world. It was a movement led by thousands of people that brought hope and espoused ideas such as democracy. It was the Arab Spring. Continue reading

Destruction in Homs, Syria

6 Ways We are Helping in Syria

Working in over 60 countries worldwide, Open Doors runs hundreds of programs, projects and training events. Here are just 6 of the ways Open Doors is providing for the needs of over 9,000 families in Syria. Continue reading

Aylan, the toddler on the beach

Before crowds began protesting in the streets, bringing the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ to Syria, Open Doors had been working in the country for several years supporting the church. It is this work in the past that has given us the opportunity to remain on the ground and serving now.

Now we see Syria in the grips of a crisis. Two days ago a young boy of 3 drowned off the coast of Turkey. The boy’s name was Aylan and his image (caution: graphic image) has been seen on social media and the news by millions. Last night the boy’s father Abdullah spoke out about the situation in an interview with Reuters. Continue reading

#WeAreN – the church in Australia united in prayer

“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

On 10 June 2014, members of Islamic State (then known as ISIS), seized Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul. An estimated 500,000 residents joined a mass exodus out of the city.

Christians were later given an ultimatum from Islamic State – convert to Islam, pay special taxes for non-Muslims as a ‘protection fee’ or leave. The statement from Islamic State concluded, “…if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword.” Houses belonging to believers were sprayed with the Arabic letter ن – ‘N’, standing for Nazarene, or Christian. 

Continue reading

Carlos' Middle East Marathon

The impact of visiting persecuted Christians in the Middle East

Carlos recently went on a unique Open Doors trip. Not only did he meet persecuted Christians and visit local sights, he got to do so in the birthplace of Christianity – the Middle East –running a marathon for the persecuted church.

We interviewed Carlos before and after his trip to find out more about his experience and the impact it has had.

Carlos’ marathon was part of the Muskathlon – run by the 4th Muskateers and Open Doors. The trip was nine days, but they managed to do a lot!

Travelling to three different countries; Israel, Palestine and Jordan, they visited many cities including; Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Aman.

Along the way they visited many of the places where events from the bible transpired. They visited the Sea of Galilee, Golgotha (‘the place of the skull’ where it is believed Jesus was crucified), the Garden Tomb (the place where it is believed Jesus was buried), the Shepherd’s Field (the place where the angels visited the shepherds and told them to follow the star), and the Church of the Nativity (the birthplace of Jesus). Continue reading