We visited the abandoned Sri Lankan Agape Children’s Village

In 2001, Pastor Dayaratne and his wife Mala opened the Agape Children’s Village in Sri Lanka, caring for abandoned, orphaned and abused children. Due to government pressure and a media smear campaign, Agape Children’s Village was forced to close in April 2013. Recently Open Doors spoke to Dayaratne and visited the eerily serene Agape Children’s Village, now in decay.

Welcome sign to Agape Children’s Village

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A Fugitive for the Gospel in Laos…

Laos

Christians in Laos feel the firm grip of Communism. Believers who meet for fellowship are regularly visited by authorities, while those who share the gospel face expulsion from their village, arrest and death threats. Thomas* is a believer on the run who has seen many come to Christ, “I have always been running. This is the third time I’ve escaped.” 

When we met Thomas he was hiding in a Bible college outside Laos. “I have been crying for two days. I cannot sleep at night. I don’t know where to go and what to do next. I only have two choices: live an uncertain life, or go back to Laos and die.”

Thomas has paid dearly for sharing the gospel, unable to see his wife and children. “I just want a place of peace where I can stay legally. I also want to continue sharing the Gospel,” he says. “All my life I have suffered; I would like to have freedom. I also don’t want my family to suffer. At the moment, nobody is taking care of them. My wife does some farming to feed the family. If I could just go back, I would. I cannot call my wife nor can my wife call me. The government did something to our phones.” Continue reading

Jesus, Superman or Santa Claus?

Jesus, Superman or Santa Claus

This blog was written by Mike, CEO Open Doors Australia. 

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him… – Romans 8:28 (NIV)

2015 has been a tough year, spiritually, physically and emotionally… made even worse by a selfish expectation I have of Jesus… for some strange reason I have conformed Jesus to a mix of Superman and Santa Claus… essentially this unseen vending machine in the sky where I do my best to live a Christian life and in return He provides me with “safe” passage and all the good things I’ve ever wanted…

I’ve spent years thinking (and in some cases being told) that verses like Romans 8:28 tell me that because I am a follower of Jesus my life should be full of good things!

“If” that’s the case then I am not sure why my year has also contained the following; 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

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

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

Blackout – Join the silent army

Blackout

Blackout | Make a loud noise by staying silent

Are you taking part in the Open Doors Youth Blackout?
Blackout is 48 hours of fasting from either social media or speaking. You give up something you do regularly to raise money and prayer for the persecuted church. Blackout is a year long event, you can register and run it any time!

Here are some helpful tips to make the most out of your weekend and some helpful resources to pray for, be informed and support the persecuted church:

1. Pray
Blackout is a fundraiser, but its so much more than that.
The number one request we get from persecuted Christians is prayer. Continue reading