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Press Releases

  • Sri Lanka terror attacks: thousands of lives will never be the same again

    23 April 2019 -

    Open Doors staff have visited Batticaloa to visit those affected by the attacks on Christians in Sri Lanka. The country was rocked by some of the deadliest Easter attacks on Christian targets in history. Official sources report that the latest death toll stand at 310, with at least 500 people wounded.

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  • Open Doors welcomes Foreign Secretary’s Easter message of Hope to Brother Andrew and persecuted Christians around the world.

    20 April 2019 -

    Responding to the Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s Easter message of hope, which stated his desire to “Encourage and bolster Christians under attack” Henrietta Blyth, CEO Open Doors UK and Ireland said: “Families are left scarred by the loss of loved ones and communities are devastated at a time when they should simply be celebrating the Easter message joyfully and freely.

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  • "They have seen hell" Over 110 Chibok girls still missing

    12 April 2019 -

    Five years since the 14 April 2014 abduction of approximately 230 girls by Boko Haram in Chibok, Nigeria, parents whose daughters have not yet returned say it still feels like a “fresh wound” but refuse to give up hope for their return. Following the abduction of the girls on 14 April 2014 from the Government Secondary School, 103 of them have been released, 110 girls still in captivity. It is not known how many of them remain alive.

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  • Teenage girl’s incarceration and forced marriage highlights persecution in Colombia’s indigenous communities

    10 April 2019 -

    Christian girls are regularly forced to marry men from their community as a means of ensuring any resulting children are not Christian children. Marriage also prevents the girls from having access to their Christian community and teachings and is therefore effective at stifling faith.

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  • India’s Christians fear election rigging amidst rising persecution levels

    05 April 2019 -

    One pastor told Open Doors: “People regret their choices of 2014.  Where I live, most people don’t like the BJP at all. They shouldn’t win. But we are afraid that the elections will be rigged. Maybe the voting machines will be hacked or maybe people will be given money if they vote for the BJP. We, as pastors, were promised land and protection if we voted for them.”

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  • Teenage Boko Haram escapee learns to love her ‘Boko Haram baby’

    03 April 2019 -

    Esther was 16 when Boko Haram extremists attacked her village in Borno state, Nigeria. Esther and her father tried to escape. The militants struck her father and left him in a heap on the ground. They carried Esther off into the forest with several other young women.

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  • Mother’s day: Empowering women in Northern Nigeria’s IDP camps

    27 March 2019 -

    The Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria has created a humanitarian disaster. It is estimated that Boko Haram have killed over 20,000 people and displaced about 2.6 million others. Women in particular are struggling; many have been abducted or widowed by Boko Haram, so they have no income and no home. Open Doors is providing them with aid and counselling and by showing mothers that God sees and loves them no matter what they have suffered.

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  • North Korean Christians say food situation is so desperate that growth of children is stunted

    14 March 2019 -

    Lack of food is stunting children’s growth in North Korea, according to an eyewitness. Food shortages threaten an entire generation of children.

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  • Syria: Christians need help to rebuild their lives

    12 March 2019 -

    “I remember the rumours about our church closing down at the start of the crisis,” said the 47-year-old father of two. He and his church have stayed to serve their community throughout the crisis, surviving the chaos and shining out as a beacon of hope and practical assistance for Christians in Aleppo.

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  • Open Doors campaigns to ensure persecuted Christian women are seen and empowered

    08 March 2019 -

    Research across the Open Doors World Watch List has shown that persecution of Christian women is often highly violent, complex and hidden.  Henrietta Blyth, CEO of Open Doors UK and Ireland is urging people to join the Open Doors See. Change. campaign which aims to ensure that women, who are vulnerable because of both their faith and gender, are seen, heard and empowered to change their lives.

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  • Trump-Kim summit: Human rights abuses must not be neglected

    26 February 2019 -

    President Trump and Kim Jong-un will meet for their second summit in Vietnam tomorrow (27th February). Expectations that human rights abuses will be raised are low. Open Doors is asking that people remember the shocking human rights abuses of Christians in North Korea.

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  • One year on, Nigerian Christian schoolgirl Leah Sharibu is still in Boko Haram’s captivity

    18 February 2019 -

    One year on from the capture of fifteen-year-old Nigerian schoolgirl Leah Sharibu from her school in Dapchi, her mother, Rebecca Sharibu, has called on the Nigerian government to expedite her release.Speaking in tears at a press conference held in capital Abuja on 10 February, Rebecca Sharibu renewed her appeal to the Federal Government to keep its promise for rescuing Leah.  

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  • What do the Nigerian elections mean for Christians facing violence in the north of the country?

    15 February 2019 -

    Muhammadu Buhari, 76, who is seeking re-election, is expected to lose in the Christian-dominated areas of Nigeria due to dissatisfaction with the government’s failure to eradicate Boko Haram’s insurgency and the violence against Christians by Fulani Herdsmen.

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  • Valentine’s Day: A story of love amid persecution

    13 February 2019 -

    Though the real story behind the legend is murky, Saint Valentine is remembered as a priest in third century Rome who was martyred for supporting persecuted Christians and for performing secret weddings. To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Open Doors is sharing a story of love amid suffering from the persecuted church.

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  • Two years on from the abduction of Malaysian pastor Open Doors urges action

    11 February 2019 -

    On 13 February 2017, Raymond Koh was abducted with military precision that implied a coordinated attack by trained individuals. In the attack, which was caught on CCTV, at least 10 men in black SUVs blocked a major road during broad daylight, bundled Raymond out of his car and abducted him in under a minute. He has not been seen since. Open Doors is urging the Malaysian Government to throw its entire weight behind locating Pastor Koh and three other individuals who went missing around the same time.

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  • North Korean Christians say situation is worsening despite Trump-Kim summits

    06 February 2019 -

    he historic summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in June 2018 signalled a thawing of relations. Donald Trump told the media that he raised human rights abuses in private with Kim Jong-un and it was hoped by many that this would be the start of increased leniency for Christians in North Korea. But local sources have told Open Doors that there are many signs that the persecution is getting worse. 

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  • Chinese Christians fear the New Year spells increased persecution

    04 February 2019 -

    Tomorrow (5 February), billions of people across China will celebrate Chinese New Year. Lanterns, dumplings and celebrations will herald the year of the pig – a year of wealth and fortune. But for Christians in China, the New Year will bring great scrutiny and persecution.

     

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  • Asia BIbi is finally free after ten years in prison

    29 January 2019 -

    Pakistan's top court has rejected a challenge to the acquittal of Asia Bibi who was on death row for eight years on blasphemy charges. The Supreme Court upheld its decision to acquit Asia Bibi after a challenge was launched by religious hardliners who held violent protests after Asia was found not guilty in November 2018.

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  • Asia Bibi: court due to hear appeal against Asia’s acquittal tomorrow

    28 January 2019 -

    Asia Bibi’s acquittal will be appealed against in Pakistan’s Supreme Court tomorrow, Tuesday 29 January 2019, in an attempt by Pakistan’s hard-line anti-Christian lobby to prevent her freedom and have the death penalty imposed upon her.

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  • Imprisoned Christian Governor set for release in Indonesia

    23 January 2019 -

    The former governor of Jakarta and Christian, Ahok, is due to be released early from prison tomorrow (24 January) after being sentenced in a politically-motivated attack during his re-election campaign. In May 2017, the former governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaya Purnama – fondly known as Ahok – was accused of blasphemy and sentenced to two years in jail. He is due to be released tomorrow.

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  • Philippines vote on giving Muslim majority area more power

    23 January 2019 -

    Three million people have voted in a referendum in the Muslim majority Mindanao region of the Philippines over whether it should become a self-administered area known as Bangsamoro. The result are expected at the end of the week. It is believed that the outcome will be in favour of creating Bangsamoro.

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  • Foreign Secretary speaks at Open Doors World Watch List launch

    18 January 2019 -

    Anti-persecution charity, Open Doors, launched its World Watch List, of the 50 countries where Christians are most persecuted, in Parliament (16.01.19). Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt spoke at the launch alongside Open Doors CEO, Henrietta Blyth, Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP and two international speakers, Brother Sam from South East Asia and Rebecca from Nigeria. Over 100 Parliamentarians were represented at the launch. Among them was shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry

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  • Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt welcomes the Open Doors World Watch List 2019

    16 January 2019 -

    Today the anti-persecution charity, Open Doors released the 2019 World Watch List, its annual ranking of the 50 countries where Christians face the most extreme persecution. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has welcomed the report and reaffirmed his commitment to supporting persecuted Christians around the world.The World Watch List report will be presented to parliamentarians today at an event in Westminster. Speaking ahead of the launch, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:

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  • Asia revealed as new persecution hotspot in Open Doors’ 2019 World Watch List report

    16 January 2019 -

    Asia is the new hotbed of persecution for Christians according to figures published today (16 January 2019) in the Open Doors World Watch List 2019. These figures show that persecution in Asia has risen sharply over the last five years with one in three Asian Christians now suffering high levels of persecution. New laws in China (up 16 places to 27) seek to control all expression of religion.

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  • How Christians around the world celebrate Christmas

    21 December 2018 -

    As the UK prepares to celebrate Christmas, Open Doors shares how Christians in countries on the Open Doors World Watch List celebrate the festive season and asks people to remember their struggles this Christmas.

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"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