Keep hope alive

Send vital aid to displaced families in Syria and Iraq – and enable them to return when it's safe.

 
Sign up to Open Doors Email

Receive the latest news, updates and prayer requests from the persecuted church direct to your inbox.

 

Open Doors News

Egypt: At least 45 killed in Palm Sunday church blasts

Egyptian Christians have asked for prayer after at least 44 people died following blasts on two churches on Palm Sunday (9 April), in northern Egypt. The first blast exploded inside Mar Girgis (St. George's) Coptic Orthodox church in Tanta, in Gharbiya governorate in the Nile Delta region, Middle East Concern (MEC) report. At least 27 people were killed in the attack and, according to the Ministry of Health, 71 people were injured.

Read more...

 
"The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed"
- Psalm 103:6
 

Syria: Injured believers find work in furniture factory

26 April 2017 - Milad was studying and working in the hotel business when the war broke out in Syria, and he lost his job due to the fighting. He found another job, but was then injured in a car bomb. He says, "The doctors had to amputate my left leg; my brother lost a leg too. We were severely burned and had to stay in hospital for three months." Milad was unemployed for 18 months after losing his leg, but then finally found work in a furniture factory in Homs that has been opened by Open Doors partners, thanks to your support. Read more...

 

Iraq: Sweet factory provides security and hope for Christian families

25 April 2017 - Situated on the first floor of a rented apartment on one of Erbil's busiest Christian districts, five Iraqi workers set about manning the new machines and preparing ingredients.Just weeks ago, Open Doors local partners set up this sweet factory to provide Christians displaced by Islamic State militants with hope through stable work and income.Trays of Iraqi delicacies, like Sorjuq or Halqoum made from syrups, pastries and nuts, rest on the table tops as employees begin working on the second batch. Read more...

 

Iran: Your letters bring joy to Pastor Behnam

25 April 2017 - After six years in prison, Iranian church leader Pastor Behnam Irani was finally released in October 2016. Open Doors staff recently visited him and his family to encourage them and bring them your letters. "This is a great present for us," Pastor Behnam said, after being presented with letters and cards from 11 different countries for him and his family. Over 3,000 Open Doors supporters wrote to Pastor Behnam when he was in prison. Read more...

 

Syria: Families return home with your support

25 April 2017 - Maaloula is a small town on a mountainside, 30 miles from Damascus, where almost 3,000 people lived before the war in Syria began, most of them Christians. For a time the town was occupied by fundamentalist Muslim group al-Nusra, forcing almost all of the inhabitants to flee their homes. The militants no longer occupy the town, but many homes were damaged in the fighting, and every church has been burned or vandalised. But incredibly, this is one of the parts of Syria where fighting has come to an end, and some families have been able to begin rebuilding their homes and their lives, with support from local churches and partners of Open Doors. Read more...

 

Turkey: Erdogan's 'reckless one-man rule'

24 April 2017 - Turkey's referendum result, which allowed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to expand his powers, could lead to the further erosion of democracy and of the demonising of non-Muslims, a former opposition politician has warned.In the referendum, held on 16 April, 51 per cent of voters approved proposals to abolish the office of Prime Minister and increase the president's executive, legislative and judicial powers. Read more...

 

Nigeria: 12 killed in Easter Sunday attack

21 April 2017 - At least 12 Christians were killed on Easter Sunday in an attack on Christian farmers in the south of Kaduna State, according to Open Doors field contacts. In reponse, the government has launched a month-long military operation in the area. Governor Mallam Nasir El-Rufai condemned the attack and promised increased security. "The operation is aimed at addressing the issue of insecurity in southern Kaduna state and parts of Kano, Plateau and Bauchi states," said the military in a statement. Read more...

 

Indonesia: Christian governor loses election, concedes defeat

20 April 2017 - In a shocking result, Jakarta's Christian Governor, Basuki Cahaya Purnama, known as Ahok, has lost his governorship to Muslim, Anies Baswedan.Ahok - who was awarded Asia's Best Governor in 2015 by Globe Asia Magazine - congratulated his opponent and in a televised news conference said, 'We now will come together and forget this campaign. Jakarta is home for all of us.' Read more...

 

Indonesia: Jakarta votes as Ahok blasphemy trial continues

19 April 2017 - Today, 19 April, Jakarta's citizens have voted for their governor for the next five years - between Christian incumbent Basuki Cahaya Purnama, known as Ahok, and Anies Baswedan - former Minister of Education and Culture - amid heightened religious and racial tensions. Ahok is on trial for blasphemy after he accused his political opponents of misusing Quranic verses to stop Muslims from voting for him. Ahok had been labelled an 'infidel' by these opponents in Jakarta's elections. Read more...

 

North Korea: "Every time I lost hope, God gave me strength"

19 April 2017 - As international tensions with North Korea increase, life for our church family in North Korea becomes even more difficult than before. During periods of upheaval, North Korean people are monitored more closely, and the borders are guarded more carefully; there is more danger that a Christian may be discovered, and it is harder for them to cross the border into China where they can be given food, medicines and Bibles by Open Doors workers. Myoung-Hee, a North Korean Christian, knows better than most the dangers of deciding to follow Jesus in North Korea. Read more...

 

Malaysia: Media attention builds over Pastor's mysterious abduction, two months on

18 April 2017 - This Easter Week marks the second month of utter silence regarding the whereabouts of Pastor Raymond Koh - a charity worker who was professionally abducted in broad daylight on 13 February 2017. Despite a lack of significant leads regarding his abduction, national and international media coverage of the abduction has continued, with the most recent article being featured on the BBC on 12 April.The BBC mentioned Pastor Raymond's evangelistic activities to Malay Muslims, which is a crime in this Islamic country. Read more...

 

Iraq: 300 Christians celebrate Easter in liberated Bartella

16 April 2017 - 300 Christians were able to celebrate Easter in their village, Bartella, about 12km from Mosul, for the first time in three years on Saturday 15 April. Although Bartella has been liberated from the self-proclaimed Islamic State, noone has returned to live there yet - much of the village has been destroyed. This includes the church; parts are burned, crosses and statues are smashed, and there is a big gaping hole in one of the walls where a big cross was once part of the construction. But about 300 people returned to celebrate Easter, organised by Father Yacoub. Read more...

 

Egypt: Solemn Easter celebrations as mourning continues for bomb victims

16 April 2017 - Easter services were held under tight security in churches across Egypt, as Christians continue to mourn those who were killed in the two church bombings on Palm Sunday. An Open Doors contact spoke to Father Stephanos Samy, one the leaders of Saint George church in Tanta, where one of the bomb attacks took place. He described how Easter would be celebrated with a solemn service this year: "We want to respect the feelings of the families of those who died. We won't have any festivities and we will not decorate the church." Read more...

 

Persecuted Christians at risk of attack at Easter

13 April 2017 - Following the Palm Sunday atrocities in Egypt, Church leaders around the world are busy preparing for a busy weekend of Easter services. Sadly, in many of the countries on the Open Doors World Watch List people are taking a risk simply by going to church on Easter Sunday. Christian festivals, particularly Christmas and Easter, are times when extremists target Christians with devastating results. Last Sunday 44 Christians were killed while attending church in Egypt, the year before 69 people were killed and 280 injured as they strolled in Lahore's Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park. Read more...

 

Egypt: Two widowed by Palm Sunday attacks share memories of their husbands

13 April 2017 - On Palm Sunday, at least 45 people were killed in Islamic State-linked bomb attacks on two churches in Egypt. Below, the widows of two men who gave their lives that day share the memories of their husbands and the events of that fateful day. Samira.. Widow of Naseem Fahmi - father of two and guard at Saint Mark's Church in Alexandria 'I am sure Naseem has been happy to give his life for Christ,' Samira says, dressed in the black of mourning. "When we talked about his vulnerability as a guard one day, he said that he would be willing to defend the church with his own blood.' 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