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Press Releases

  • Convert, Pay or Die: 5 years on from the fall of Mosul

    14 June 2019 -

    Up to 500,000 citizens left Mosul, including approximately 3,000 Christian families. Only 25 Christian families stayed in the city after the ultimatum – they were all too old, ill or disabled to flee. Some converted. No one knows what happened to the rest.Most Christians fled to the city of Erbil or to the Kurdish region in the north of Iraq.

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  • 19 Christians killed in attack in Burkina Faso

    13 June 2019 -

    The grip of Islamic militants on northern and eastern parts of Burkina Faso is growing.On Sunday 9 June at least 19 people died in another jihadist attack. “Several dozen armed men carried out an attack on the district of Arbinda, shooting several people dead,” said a local official who wished to remain anonymous.  

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  • Girl beaten and imprisoned by her family for converting to Christianity

    12 June 2019 -

    Amira was born in a small village in a country in Central Asian and raised as a Muslim. Two years ago she moved to work in a city. Here, she met Christians and started to attend a church. According to research by Open Doors, Christian women, like Amira, are doubly vulnerable to persecution; targeted for both their faith and gender. Their suffering is often unseen and is ignored by the world around them.

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  • Christians still homeless two years on from the Marawi siege in the Philippines

    04 June 2019 -

    On May 23, 2017 hundreds of armed members of an ISIS-linked militant group stormed into the city of Marawi in the Philippines. During the five month siege that followed, 1,000 people died and more than 300,000 people were displaced. Now, two years after the war broke out, more than 2,000 families are still in temporary shelters and more than 11,000 families are still living with relatives and friends. The ongoing military operation of clearing undetonated bombs and landmines and building delays have stopped people from being able to move back to the city.

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  • Foreign Secretary writes to 20 year-old Esther who escaped Boko Haram

    03 June 2019 -

    Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has written to Esther, a Nigerian Christian who was abducted as a teenager by Boko Haram militants. The letter was one of 40 letters written by the Foreign Secretary to persecuted Christians and those who support them.

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  • Malaysian Government announces investigation into State involvement in abduction of Pastor Raymond Koh

    29 May 2019 -

    The Malaysian Home Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin, announced that a special taskforce will investigate the abduction of Pastor Koh following a report carried out by SUHAKAM that concluded that his disappearance was executed by State agents. The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia, announced last month that the panel was of the unanimous view that Pastor Koh was a victim of an enforced disappearance.

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  • Indian Christians worried by BJP’s victory

    23 May 2019 -

    “It is an increasingly worrying time for Christians in India. Over the last five years they have experienced a significant level of violence, discrimination and intolerance against them. We hope that this second BJP victory will not be a mandate for increased persecution but will instead be an opportunity to heal the increasing divides in India.”

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  • Indonesian Christians welcome the newly-elected president and hope for an end to discrimination

    22 May 2019 -

    Indonesian Christians are filled with hope that the new president will bring improvement to all parts of the country regardless of the faith of the local communities.

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  • Laws preventing people from converting away from Hinduism may increase in India if the BJP wins the elections

    16 May 2019 -

    India’s Christians are expecting that in the possible event of the BJP’s victory in the general elections, the so-called anti-conversion laws that prevent people from converting to any religion from Hinduism will be implemented more rigorously and in more states than they are now. Already in states like Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh where those laws are in force, the persecution of Christians is on the rise.

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  • Open Doors calls on Home Secretary to stop deportation of Pakistani Christian campaigner facing a fatwah.

    10 May 2019 -

    Azeem Wazir left Pakistan in 2015 in fear of his life after a fatwah was issued against him due to his protesting against the Blasphemy law and his involvement in the campaign 'Stop Killing Christians'. 

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  • Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi reunites with her daughters in Canada

    08 May 2019 -

    Open Doors welcomes the news of Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi’s arrival in Canada, following eight years in prison on blasphemy charges and six months in protective custody following her acquittal.

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  • Death or family: The extreme choice facing Christian women

    06 May 2019 -

    During Ramadan, the pressure on secret Christians in Islamic societies is more intense than usual. As the Muslim world celebrates Ramadan, Open Doors shares the story of Aizah, Christian convert from a Muslim background, who risked everything to become a Christian and now helps other women like her.

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  • Open Doors CEO says government policy must change after interim findings of review into UK response to persecution of Christians

    03 May 2019 -

    “The interim report is grim reading. It reinforces over 25 years of World Watch List research and is long overdue. It shows that many countries are denying their citizens the fundamental human right of freedom of religion or belief despite being signed up to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Open Doors urges the UK government to use its influence to exert pressure so that governments around the world make fundamental policy changes to ensure that Christians and other religious minorities are free to follow the faith of their choice.” Henrietta Blyth, CEO of Open Doors UK and Ireland said today.

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  • Open Doors advocacy team wins parliamentary award

    30 April 2019 -

    Open Doors has won the award for best social, religious or family campaign at the Parliamentary Charity Awards, awarded by polling organisation, ComRes.The awards recognises campaigning charities that lead their field in communicating with parliamentarians.

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  • 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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"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