Surviving ‘Blackout’- Open Doors Youth

What is Blackout?

Blackout is a fundraiser, but it’s so much more than that.
It’s about standing with Christians who are being silenced for their faith. For 48 hours, we are asking you to turn all off; your phones, computers, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Spotify, emails or your voice, so that you can tune in to what God is saying.

For 48 hours we want you to pray, get stuck in God’s Word and learn the stories of the persecuted – so that they might be heard. For 48 hours we want you to go silent so that you might be a voice for the voiceless. You can register here.

We want you to ‘Turn off and Tune in’.

Why should I do it?

Continue reading

Atheist teen from Lebanon finds Christ in Science

Although she grew up in a Lebanese Christian family, Nasrin* (19) began doubting God, and even declared herself an atheist while in high school. But God intervened and now she tries to inspire others to see that God and science are not opposing forces.

Lebanon has the largest percentage of Christians of all the Middle Eastern countries, most of them descending from the early Christians living in the region since Biblical times. But these credentials don’t guarantee a healthy spiritual life, according to Nasrin. Most Christians in Lebanon are just Christians on their ID. My family is listed as Christian, but they are not dedicated to any church,” she tells. “So as I grew up and reached high school age, I started to wonder who is God really? Do I believe in Jesus because I experienced Him, or do I say I’m a Christian just because this is the only religion I know?” Continue reading

Iraqi Teenager’s only connection with ‘Home’ is through Facebook

Iraqi teen Asmaa* (16) had to run from the house she grew up in in Iraq. Now, it’s dawning on her that she may never return. Facebook is the only connection she has with her friends.

It was just after her 15th birthday, in mid-2014, when Asmaa’s life changed completely overnight. Her eyes reveal that the memories of those days are still vivid; speaking about it still overwhelms her with emotions, only allowing her to speak in a soft voice.

Growing up in a Christian family in Mosul hadn’t always been easy, but at least Asmaa had her friends, family and a large Christian community there. And a place to call ‘home’. Continue reading

Through war, Syrian teen is closer to Christ

Although the war in Syria changed his life completely and has separated him from his family, Seif* (18) feels he is closer to God than ever before. And what hasn’t changed is that he still loves his country; he cannot wait to return and start rebuilding.

“Living in Syria is like being in the middle of a dangerous forest,” says Seif. When he starts sharing about how his life feels, at first it seems like he is telling a children’s story; like many in the Middle East he is a compelling storyteller. But this particular tale turns sour quickly, “There is danger everywhere; predators might be crawling up on you from every side, but it is dark, you can’t see clearly, and it’s difficult to get out. No one there has your growth and development in mind.” Continue reading

Iraq: The church that stayed…

You’ve probably heard the story behind the symbol used to mark Christians by IS (self procalimed Islamic State).
What you probably don’t know is the story behind the city on this shirt.

#WeAreN shirt

#WeAreN shirt

It’s called Alqosh.
It’s a Christian majority town in Northern Iraq.
It is also now the only Christian town in the Nineveh Plain not taken by IS.

Most cities like Mosul are now virtually empty of Christians, with no churches holding Christian services for the first time in almost 2 millennium.
Churches have been claimed by IS as prisons and distribution centres, with crosses being torn down and replaced with the IS flag.

Alqosh has Christians who have remained, despite IS coming very close to the town. These are places where the history and stories of the Bible were formed, and have had a Christian presence since the early church for over 1500 years. And they are now on the brink of destruction.

75% of the church in Iraq have left since the 1990s.

75% of the church in Iraq have left since the 1990s.

Over 75% of the church have left Iraq since the early 1990’s.
Could you imagine if three quarters of the church disappeared from Australia and the spiritual impact that would have on this country?

Sometimes I imagine what it would be like if this happened in Australia, if my family were threatened and forced out of their homes for their faith.
Then I remember, they are my family in Christ.

We will pray as one body and one family.
We will strengthen what remains and not let the church fade away.

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” – Romans 8:18

This blog post was written by James, who leads Open Doors Australia’s Youth’s Ministry.

Open Doors Youth is a movement responding the the cry of the persecuted church. A voice that tells their story, unashamedly standing up for those who suffer persecution. 

Want to get involved? For more information on how to do this please visit www.opendoorsyouth.org.au or find us on Facebook.

This shirt is still available to purchase (limited sizes).

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