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Open Doors News

India: A new home and a new start for believers from Odisha

"Our family lived in a tent made of plastic tarpaulin and mud. Because of the scarcity of water we were able to yield little from our land and thus worked for daily wages in other people's fields. We also sold firewood and leaves we could collect from the forest to ensure one-time meal for our family."

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

Vietnam: Christian beaten for refusing to deny faith

27 July 2016 - Donh*, who has been a Christian for a year, was beaten by a policeman and a group of youths at the start of July after he refused to give up his faith. Our local partner, Cang*, who has recently visited Donh, says: "The cop used his baton and assaulted Donh on his head and on the back of his neck. The cop came with about 20 young men with clubs and big knives. They pointed at him and came at him, shouted that he follows Jesus, and beat him [until they thought he was dead]. Now Donh has run away and is experiencing frequent headaches." Read more...

 

French priest's murder 'horrifies', but many churches attacked and leaders killed around the world

27 July 2016 - The 26 July killing of a Catholic priest in his church in St. Etienne du Rouvray, France, once again has pushed jihadist violence into the headlines. Open Doors UK has released a statement saying: "This tragic attack, so close to home and following other recent horrors, is another example of the persecution we see all too often in countries around the world." Read more...

 

Colombia: New home for persecuted children

26 July 2016 - Children from indigenous communities in the north of Colombia experience persecution, but Open Doors is now providing a place of safety and hope for a growing number of them. Families in these communities stay faithful to Jesus despite extreme discrimination at the hands of their traditional leaders and guerrillas, whose ancestral laws forbid them from expressing their faith. 'La Casita' is a new home for six Christian boys that provides shelter, food, education and vocational guidance so that they can express their faith in freedom without fear. Read more...

 

The year of the refugee

25 July 2016 - Perhaps the defining image of the past year has been that of the refugee. Our impression of the refugee crisis is largely defined by events in the Middle East. Yet the truth is that this is a global phenomenon. Throughout the world, people are on the move - and millions of them are Christians. Read more...

 

India: Forced reconversions for believers from Hindu backgrounds

22 July 2016 - Hundreds of Christians were forced to reconvert to Hinduism last year through intimidation by Hindu radicals. Neeraj* faced such pressure to return to Hinduism that on Christmas Eve, he found himself recanting his faith in Jesus in front of hundreds of people. Read more...

 

India: "Whether we live or die, I will never stop believing in Jesus"

20 July 2016 - "Whatever happens, whether we live or die, I will never stop believing in Jesus Christ." These are not just empty words for Kusum; she knows about death and loss. She is just 25, but has already been widowed, and her youngest son has died. Her community and her husband's family blame her Christian faith for their deaths - and her father-in-law has threatened to kill her. But in spite of all this, she is able to say, "God gives me strength." Read more...

 

Iraq: Pastoral training equips Martin to give hope to displaced youth

20 July 2016 - Persecuted and displaced Christians in Iraq and Syria have been thrown a lifeline over the past year by churches in the UK and Ireland whose generous response has provided 24,000 families with monthly food relief. However, as the Bible says, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4). That's why through local partners, Open Doors is supporting churches and church leaders in Iraq as they disciple and encourage young people while they are displaced from their homes. Read more...

 

Russia: Christians speak out against repressive anti-religion law

19 July 2016 - Christians in Russia have spoken out against a new law which some have called an 'anti-missionary bill'. The new law has been described by some as 'the most draconian anti-religion bill to be proposed in Russia since Nikita Khrushchev promised to eliminate Christianity in the Soviet Union', while another critic claimed that, 'Even the Soviet Union did not have such an overwhelmingly repressive legislation'. The new law, known more commonly as the 'Yarovaya' law (the name of one of its authors) was signed into law on 7 July by Russian President Vladimir Putin Read more...

 

Turkey: Churches attacked amidst attempted coup

19 July 2016 - Amidst the unrest of the attempted coup in Turkey on Friday 15 July, two churches in separate towns were attacked. Both towns have a history of anti-Christian violence. Read more...

 

India: "I can die or I can witness. Make me a witness for you."

18 July 2016 - "I can die or I can witness. Make me a witness for you." This was the courageous prayer of Sunita* as she hid in a goat shed from her attackers. She had been beaten with bamboo rods by a group of men until she was unconscious, then dragged to the edge of her town. When she awoke, her wrist was broken; a bone was sticking out of it. She had no idea if her sister, Meena*, who was also beaten, was alive or dead. Read more...

 

Bangladesh: 'I can read the Bible now!'

13 July 2016 - Benu Ara never received an education. Married at 12, for 20 years she has suffered from low self-esteem because she was unable to read and write. Then a local literacy teacher invited her to join a Open Doors supported literacy class. At first she was too shy and too low in confidence to accept. Fortunately, her husband and her children strongly encouraged her to participate. Letters became words, words became sentences, sentences became stories. And then she was reading the most important story of them all. Read more...

 

Sudan: Hope Under Fire

12 July 2016 - Open Doors CEO, Lisa Pearce, recently travelled to visit Christians in the Nuba mountains of Sudan. There she discovered a church under incredible pressure, but standing firm thanks to your support. The Nuba people are under attack from their own government because they don't want to live under the strict Islamic law that is in place across the rest of the country. They endure daily bombings, with planes seeking out and systematically destroying any signs of life. Read more...

 

Democratic Republic of Congo: Nine Christians killed

12 July 2016 - An attack by unknown armed men has claimed the lives of at least nine Christians in the volatile eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. According to World Watch Monitor, local sources said the assailants stormed three communities on the outskirts of the town of Oicha. Armed with guns and machetes, they looted homes, taking food and cattle as plunder. Read more...

 

Nigeria: Pastor killed while preaching

12 July 2016 - A female assistant pastor was killed in the early hours of Saturday while preaching in the Kubwa region in Nigeria. Eunice Elisha (42), the mother of seven and wife of Pastor Olawale Elisha, belonged to the Redeemed Church of God. According to her husband, she left her home around 5 am on Saturday morning and gone out to preach as usual. Mr Elisha told local media that two of his sons who were at football practice heard that a woman was killed while preaching. "I told my children that it couldn't be their mother, but they insisted we should go there and check," Elisha said 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