MOBILISING THE CHURCH IN THE UK AND IRELAND
...so that persecuted Christians get the support they need.
Because of your amazing support last year - praying, giving and speaking out for the persecuted church - we were able to share the message with thousands of people in churches and youth groups, as well as with our MPs and the media - and for that we give thanks. Nearly 30,000 people committed to support the work of Open Doors for the first time last year. Almost 26,000 supporters prayed with their persecuted family during Lent using our devotional resource, The Step of Yes, and over 2,300 supporters, old and new, joined us at Birmingham's ICC to celebrate 60 years of God's faithfulness to the persecuted church.
- Over 2,300 people attended our 60th anniversary celebration at the ICC, Birmingham, to hear speakers sharing first-hand stories from the persecuted church.
- Alongside this, long-time supporters were invited to hear more in-depth reports from our speakers on projects we’re involved with around the world.
- Hundreds more attended autumn celebrations in Scotland and Ireland and Encounter events throughout the year.
- The number of churches engaging with us last year increased significantly as they put on Secret Screenings of The Cost, requested prayer resources, and attended church leaders’ breakfasts as part of the Encounter tour.
- 26,150 copies of our Lent resources were ordered, enabling individuals and home groups to experience, reflect on, and engage with the Step of Yes campaign.
- An anniversary edition of God’s Smuggler, written by Open Doors founder Brother Andrew, introduced the best-seller to a new generation. Up to now 40,000 copies have been sent out, engaging tens of thousands of new people.
- Over 1,000 young people at summer festivals said ‘Yes’ to standing alongside persecuted Christians. Loads of youth groups went silent online as part of our 48-hour BLACKOUT weekend. Some prayed, some gave, others busked, shaved their hair or hiked, raising over £60,000 to support their persecuted family.
- The heroic adventures and creative endeavours of supporters who walked, ran, cycled, sang and sold home-made produce raised funds for our persecuted family and continues to inspire others to do the same!
...to Spring Harvest, New Wine, the Church of England, Elim, Vineyard, Fresh Streams, the World Prayer Centre and Foursquare for making space in their programmes for the persecuted church last year. Many gave incredibly generous offerings as well as heartfelt prayers. Thanks also to Riding Lights Theatre Company for bringing to life the stories of the persecuted church through their highly ‘Irresistible’ tour!
Brothers Bake for Bibles
Sammy and older brother Noah got involved in raising money for persecuted Christians after an event at a friend’s house. That day, there was a speaker who had travelled with Open Doors to take Bibles to a country where Christians are not allowed to have them.
Sammy says: "The man said that, at the checkpoint, they prayed that the border guards would not find the Bibles. God answered their prayer and the guards only checked the bags with holiday clothes in, not the ones with the Bibles. This really inspired me because I thought if God can do stuff like that, He can transform people’s lives. I thought giving some money would help get more Bibles."
"We used a big glass jar and collected money by making cakes and people donated money for them at church. We made loom bands and sold those to friends and family. We sold some of our old toys in car boot sales, and put in pocket money. We also collected copper coins from people. It was amazing to see how much we raised - we are hoping to do it again this year!"