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Press Releases

  • Sunday schools at risk in Indonesia

    15 November 2018 -

    Christians in Indonesia are opposing a new religious education bill that will require them to obtain government approval for holding Sunday schools classes. If the ‘Islamic boarding schools and religious education’ bill passes, every Sunday school will be required to have at least 15 participants and the organiser must have the approval of the Religious Affairs Ministry.

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  • Open Doors asks UK Government to intervene to ensure Asia Bibi’s safety

    08 November 2018 -

    “The news that Asia is free is a major step forward. Some have reported that she is out of the country but we have just heard from a reliable source that she is still in Pakistan. What is clear is that she is still in danger. Asia has suffered for too many years for a crime she did not commit. She has been declared innocent by the highest court in Pakistan and deserves to rebuild her life."

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  • Asia Bibi declared innocent by Pakistan court

    31 October 2018 -

    The Pakistani Supreme Court has today (October 31) ordered the immediate release of Asia Bibi, the Christian woman who has spent over 8 years on death row.According to the official ruling, prosecution has categorically failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt. The judges quoted extensively from the Quran and other Islamic scriptures, saying among other things that non-Muslims were to be dealt with kindly.

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  • Beaten with a brick for building a church in India

    14 September 2018 -

    Violent persecution incidents are taking place on an almost daily basis in India. Numerous churches have been vandalised, attacked or burnt. Sujit a 34-year-old pastor from North India, suffered one of these attacks and was forced to leave his village by Hindu extremists

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  • North Korea celebrates 70 year anniversary amid sanctions and the threat of famine

    06 September 2018 -

    As North Korea celebrates its 70th anniversary sanctions are straining the countries resources and extreme heat is threatening a famine like that of the 1990s.

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  • Back to school for persecuted Christians in India

    30 August 2018 -

    As the UK prepares for a new school year, Open Doors partners in India are teaching persecuted women in sewing schools where they learn skills to lift themselves out of poverty.

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  • North Korean reunite with their loved ones from the South

    20 August 2018 -

    North Korean and South Korean families are meeting at Mount Kumgang in the North this week as part of reunion events organised by the two countries.“There are at least 20 million relatives separated by the Korean War,” says North Korea escapee, John Choi. “It is the most tragic thing on earth.”

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  • 35 Christians released from prison in Eritrea

    26 July 2018 -

    The 35 released Christians were being held because they belong to unregistered Christian denominations. The group have all signed a document promising not to attend meetings of underground churches. Normally signing a document like this would lead to a prisoner’s release but these 35 Christians signed the document four and a half years ago and have been detained ever since. 

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  • Pakistani Christians dismayed at lack of representation in elections

    25 July 2018 -

    Minorities account for about five per cent of the population in Pakistan, but they remain absent from mainstream politics and the country’s minorities – particularly Christians – have expressed dismay at their lack of representation among the candidates.

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  • MP takes up cause of persecuted Christians with PM following meeting with local vicar

    20 July 2018 -

    Thanks to an Open Doors supporter the plight of persecuted Christians was raised at PMQs by MP Chris Philp.

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  • Facebook post leads to attack on Christian houses and 90 arrests

    19 July 2018 -

    An attack on Christians in a village in Minya, Egypt has left the Coptic community afraid to leave their houses and security forces patrolling the streets.

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  • Eritrean teenager imprisoned for his evangelical faith

    17 July 2018 -

    Matthew* was caught by police and sentenced to a military prison while he was still a teenager, because he is an Evangelical Christian in Eritrea. He hopes the end to the war with Ethiopia will lead to true freedom of belief for him and thousands of other Christians in Eritrea. “It was a Sunday and suddenly we were surrounded by security and police,” said Matthew. “First, we were taken to the nearby police station. Then, after a while, to another prison. After staying there for about 40 days, they took me to a military training camp.

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  • Open Doors welcomes new Freedom of Religion or Belief lead within government

    06 July 2018 -

    Open Doors welcomes the appointment of Lord Ahmad as the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief.Dr Matthew Rees, Senior Policy and Advocacy Advisor at Open Doors, said, “Open Doors enthusiastically supports the creation of this role and has been urging for greater government leadership on this issue for many years.

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  • Medical care for war-torn countries where there is no NHS

    04 July 2018 -

    As the UK celebrates 70 years of the NHS, Open Doors partners are providing vital medical aid for thousands of sick people in Syria, who wouldn’t otherwise be able to access the medical care they need.

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  • Mexican pastor shot dead in broad daylight

    02 July 2018 -

    A Mexican pastor has been shot dead in broad daylight in Juarez, Mexico – a city once known as the murder capital of the world. Eduardo ‘Lalo’ Garcia was shot at least six times on 8 June, as he was chased by unidentified assailants believed to be members of the drugs trade.

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  • Why there are no Christians on Egypt’s World Cup team

    22 June 2018 -

    Systematic discrimination is preventing Christians from participating in professional sport in Egypt meaning there are no Christians in this year’s World Cup team.

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  • Open Doors copywriter in Sermon of the Year final!

    21 June 2018 -

    Open Doors’ Rebecca Coatsworth takes part in the final of the Sermon of the Year competition at London School of Theology (LST) today.

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  • Blow the whistle on extreme persecution this World Cup

    14 June 2018 -

    Iran, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Tunisia, Mexico and Colombia are all on the Open Doors World Watch List of the most dangerous countries in the world to be a Christian. Christians in these countries are not free to live out their faith without facing persecution – whether that be rejection, isolation, denial of rights and freedom, or even violence.

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  • Hope for Christians in North Korea

    12 June 2018 -

    John Choi*, a Christian and a human rights advocate who has escaped from North Korea and now lives in the UK said: ”I hope that if there is economic advancement it will pave the way for more freedom for the people of North Korea, freedom of thought, opportunity and religion. I think this is likely to take 25 to 30 years but I also hope in light of Trump’s comments today it will be much quicker than that.”

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  • Why was pastor Koh abducted in a coordinated attack?

    04 June 2018 -

    The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia has resumed its inquiry into the disappearance of the missing pastor, Raymond Koh, who was kidnapped on 13 February last year. Raymond Koh’s abduction, which was caught on CCTV, was conducted with military precision and implies a coordinated attack by trained individuals. At least 10 men in black SUVs blocked a major road during broad daylight and abducted him. He has not been seen since.

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  • Christians in Saudi Arabia at greater risk during Ramadan

    31 May 2018 -

    During the Muslim prayer month of Ramadan, the pressure on secret believers in Saudi Arabia is more intense than usual. Ahmed* tells how expectations, especially from family members, can lead to uncomfortable situations and a greater risk to his safety.

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  • Churchgoer killed in IS attack in Chechnya

    22 May 2018 -

    So-called Islamic State claimed responsibility for a shooting in a Russian Orthodox Church in Chechnya's capital, Grozny where a church member was killed. Four men broke into the Russian Orthodox Church on Saturday during a service.

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  • 8,000 families return to Iraq’s Nineveh plains as houses are rebuilt

    14 May 2018 -

    Over 8,000 Christian families have returned to their villages in the Nineveh Plain in the last two months and nearly 800 houses have been rebuilt. Churches play a key role in encouraging families to return. So Open Doors’ local partners are financially supporting churches as they help those who want to return by giving grants for rebuilding their homes. Thanks to this, 795 houses have been restored in the villages. According to one of Open Doors’ partners, some families are waiting to move home until the end of the school year: “People who are still living in displacement are waiting till the end of the school year in June. So we expect in the summer a rise of the number of returnees.”

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  • Brother Andrew, Open Doors founder, celebrates 90th birthday

    09 May 2018 -

    Brother Andrew, the founder of Open Doors, turns 90 on Friday (11 May). Brother Andrew has travelled to more than 125 countries in his life’s work to support persecuted Christians. Brother Andrew earned the nickname God’s Smuggler after he made series of clandestine Bible deliveries behind the iron curtain during the cold war. He narrowly escaped imprisonment many times and had many miraculous near misses with the authorities. He has attended private meetings with the leaders of fundamentalist groups, risking his life to advocate on behalf of persecuted Christians in the Middle East.

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  • Death by bureaucracy: the pressure facing the church in Algeria

    02 May 2018 -

    Senior church leaders from Algeria report that the pressure facing Christians is the worst it’s been in recent years. Mustafa Krim, Ali Khidri and Youssef Ourahmane have been in the UK to ask that leaders lobby the Algerian government to stop its current crackdown on the mostly Muslim background church.

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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