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Open Doors News

Syria: 'We are seeing beautiful results' - Pastor B


"We're about to finish the fourth year of the war. In March we will start the fifth year of this war," says Pastor Boutros*. He leads one of the churches we partner with in the coastal city of Tartus in Syria. "There are long cuts in electricity supply. Also, there's no fuel; that means no heating. The price of fuel is twice as much as it was before. And we're not seeing that there is a political solution to the crisis. Every day people are dying, and there are cities that are completely deserted." But thanks to your support, Pastor Boutros' church is supporting thousands of families.

"Even though the situation is difficult and prolonged, I thank you that you have continued with us."
- Pastor B, Syria

Nigeria: Attacks increase in run-up to elections

26 March 2015 - Attacks on Christian communities in the states across the centre of Nigeria, known as the Middle Belt, have increased dramatically in the run-up to the elections, which begin on Saturday. 100 people were killed in a village in Benue state, close to the Cameroon border, as Fulani herdsmen broke into homes and started shooting while their victims slept in the early hours of 15 March. A witness who escaped the killings said: "We were still sleeping when they entered our village and started shooting sporadically in all directions killing every human and animal in sight." Read more


Kenya: Gladys hopes the Easter message will reach persecutors

25 March 2015 - Gladys's husband, Dr Ben Juma, was killed in May 2012 by a group who were angered by his passion to share the gospel with others. Gladys speaks about pain, forgiveness, and the power of the prayers of the saints. Read more


Kenya: Widows united in grief and encouragement

25 March 2015 - Sarah's husband, Pastor Ibrahim Kithaka, was killed in October 2013 in what the police later labelled an al-Shabaab revenge attack. Open Doors staff were able to take Gladys, another Kenyan widow, to meet with Sarah's family to encourage them, and also deliver letters from supporters around the world. "We have no words. This is love!" Sarah said. Read more


Iraq: Healing for refugee children begins

24 March 2015 - When 8-year-old Maryam describes her day, she sounds like most children in the UK and Ireland: "I go to school in the early morning, then I play with my friends."But Maryam's childhood has been far from normal. Last year, her family were forced to flee their home in Mosul after the invasion of Islamic State militants. When Maryam is asked about the days when her family were on the run, all she can say is: "I cried." Now, Maryam and her family live in a caravan in a church yard in Erbil. Read more


Pakistan: Volunteers died to save others

19 March 2015 - Several Christians sacrificed themselves to save others during the bombings of two churches in Lahore on Sunday, World Watch Monitor reports. At Christ Church, 32-year-old Obaid Sardar Khokhar, a volunteer security guard, overpowered the suicide bomber who was approaching the church and dragged him away from the entrance. At St. John's Catholic Church, 16-year-old Akash Bashir was able to prevent a suicide bomber from entering the church. Read more


Syria: Help keep hope alive

17 March 2015 - The conflict in Syria entered its fifth year on Sunday. There is still no end in sight. Since 15 March 2011, over 200,000 people have been killed and eleven million displaced. The country is covered in darkness - 83% of all lights have gone out since the start of the conflict. What's more, the international community has largely moved on and Syria no longer commands the attention it deserves. When so much has already been lost, it can be easy to lose hope as well. We must do all we can to keep hope alive in Syria. Read more


Pakistan: Churches bombed, at least 14 killed

16 March 2015 - At least 14 people were killed and over 70 injured in bomb attacks on two churches in Lahore yesterday. A group affiliated with the Taliban, calling itself Jamatul Ahrar, has claimed responsibility for the attack. Our contacts say that the attacks were performed by suicide bombers. Security teams were able to stop the attackers from entering the church buildings, but the bombs were detonated outside. Both churches, Christ Church and St John's Catholic Church, are in a Christian neighbourhood of Lahore, Yohanabad. Read more

"God has called me to stay here and be his witness. I cannot leave the other Christians behind."
- Eun Hee, Christian martyr from North Korea