17 July 2017

New CEO joins Open Doors International

Open Doors International has appointed Dan Ole Shani to be its Chief Executive Officer.

Born and raised in Kenya, a country ranked 18 on the 2017 World Watch List, Dan and his wife Nellie have lived in five different countries with their children where Dan served in international missions work for over 30 years. He spent a decade working in East Africa, a decade as Regional Director over field programmes across West Africa, and then a decade of international roles led from the US and UK with World Vision International. His recent global leadership roles at World Vision International had oversight of decision-making effectiveness, global governance, and forming a Christian identity across a global organisation.

Dan made the following comment about accepting this role:

"I am excited that Open Doors is an organisation that unreservedly proclaims its devotion to Jesus Christ and its commitment to His commission, with a focus on strengthening the persecuted church. It will be my privilege to work alongside the brothers and sisters at Open Doors as we strengthen the Church in places where it is most dangerous to be a Christian and as we together bear witness to the world that Jesus Christ is Lord."

Lisa Pearce, Chief Executive of Open Doors UK and Ireland said: "We welcome Dan to our Ministry and we look forward to working with him - we have much to do as persecution is sadly increasing and our Ministry faces ever increasing demands and pressures as we try to help as many people as possible. A major event happening just after he joins us will be the presentation of our One Million Voices of Hope petition, at the UN in December 2017."

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For more information call the Open Doors press office on 01993 777377, 01993 777346 or 07484 000 441, or email Tania at taniac@opendoorsuk.org or Beth at bethf@opendoorsuk.org

Information on Open Doors - www.opendoorsuk.org

Hope for the Middle East campaign

Open Doors has launched the Hope for the Middle East campaign, a global, seven-year campaign mobilising people around the world to speak out to secure the future of Christians and other minorities in Syria and Iraq. As part of this, Open Doors is asking people to sign the One Million Voices of Hope petition, which will be presented to the UN in December 2017. The petition is calling on the UN to provide Christians and other minorities in Syria and Iraq with dignified living conditions, equal citizenship, and a role in bringing reconciliation to their communities, the key things Christians and church leaders from these nations have said they want for the future.

Open Doors UK & Ireland is part of Open Doors International, a global NGO network which has supported and strengthened persecuted Christians in over 60 countries for over 60 years. Last year it raised approximately $70 million to provide practical support to persecuted Christians such as food, medicines, trauma care, legal assistance, safe houses and schools, as well as spiritual support through Christian literature, training and resources. Open Doors UK & Ireland raised over £11 million.

Every year Open Doors publishes the World Watch List - a ranking of the 50 countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian. This is produced using detailed information provided by Open Doors co-workers in more than 60 countries, as well as independent experts. Data is gathered on five spheres of life - private, family, community, national and church life - plus a sixth sphere ├║measuring the degree of violence impacting Christians. Persecution in each country is recorded by Open Doors using a point system. Open Doors' research methods and results have been independently audited by the International Institute for Religious Freedom. The 2017 World Watch List accounts for the 12 months ending 31 October 2016.