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Press releases

  • Open Doors asks Commonwealth Heads of Government to stop religious persecution

    13 April 2018 -

    As the leaders of the Commonwealth countries gather together for their 25th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting Towards a common future (16-20 April 2018) Open Doors is asking that they put freedom of religion and belief at the heart of their discussions.

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  • Chibok won’t celebrate until every one of her daughters has been released

    11 April 2018 -

    Four years ago, few people had heard of the dusty town of Chibok. But that changed on April 14 2014 when Boko Haram stormed the school and abducted 230 of the 275 girls who had gathered to take an exam. Today, half of those girls remain in captivity. During a recent visit, parents told Open Doors partners, for as long as any of the girls remain in captivity, Chibok won’t be celebrating.

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  • Dapchi Christian girl held by Boko Haram says she is confident she will see her mother again

    10 April 2018 -

    Almost eight weeks after her capture Leah Sharibu is still being held by Boko Haram. Over 100 of her classmates were captured from their secondary school in Dapchi, Nigeria, and then released on 21 March. However, Leah, the only Christian girl in the group, was not released. Open Doors partners visited her family to support them.

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  • Thousands of Christians in Qaraqosh celebrate Palm Sunday for the first time since IS invaded

    26 March 2018 -

    For the first time since so-called Islamic State (IS) drove Christians from Iraq’s Nineveh Plain in 2014, the Christian town of Qaraqosh has celebrated Palm Sunday. On Palm Sunday morning thousands of Iraqi Christians walked through the streets of the ancient town, waving palm and olive branches. Their chorus, “King of kings and Lord of Lords. Glory! Hallelujah!” was heard throughout the entire town.

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  • Open Doors holds Yezidi women art exhibition in parliament with artist, Hannah Thomas, and hosted by Caroline Spelman MP

    22 March 2018 -

    Open Doors has teamed up with British artist, Hannah Rose Thomas, to hold an art exhibition in Westminster. This exhibition features moving self-portraits of Yezidi women who are dealing with immense trauma after escaping the self-proclaimed Islamic State, alongside Hannah’s exquisite portraits of the same women.

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  • Victims of Fulani violence in Nigeria in desperate need of support

    19 March 2018 -

    Fulani violence continues in Nigeria’s Middle Belt. Statistics are hard to ascertain because of the unreliability of government figures and inconsistent witness counts, but Open Doors has recorded at least 32 Fulani-related incidents in 2018 resulting in 350 deaths of mostly Christian villagers. Our partners visited Christians affected by attacks in Taraba State, and found them in desperate need of support.

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  • Lured, kidnapped and almost forced to convert to Islam – the story of a Christian teenager in the Middle East

    13 March 2018 -

    Christian teenager, Romina*, was groomed, kidnapped and held against her will by an Islamic leader intent on converting her to Islam. Now Romina and her family face the shame and stigma their society attaches to her kidnapping.

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  • Will a modern Saudi Arabia mean more freedom for Christians?

    07 March 2018 -

    Crown prince Mohammad bin Salma has been praised by some for bringing social and economic reforms to Saudi Arabia. But will this modernisation mean greater freedom for Christians? We spoke to foreign Christians living and working in Saudi Arabia.

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  • 800 Christian families flee after blasphemy accusation

    21 February 2018 -

    Eight hundred Christian families have fled their neighbourhood in Lahore, Pakistan, after a 20-year-old Christian, Patras Masih was accused of blasphemy for posting a photo on Facebook. The families feared a repeat of previous instances when Christian neighbourhoods have been set on fire following blasphemy accusations.

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  • Open Doors asks people to remember the plight of persecuted Christians in North Korea ahead of the Winter Olympics

    08 February 2018 -

    ​With the start of the Winter Olympics the world’s attention is focused on Korea. The joint Korean women’s ice hockey team and the pro-unification flag show that North Korea is attempting to present a more friendly face to the world. But Open Doors is asking people not to forget the thousands of Christians persecuted under the brutal Kim regime. Dr Matthew Rees, Advocacy Policy Officer at Open Doors, said, “As many nations come together to take part in the Winter Olympics, let us not forget that every day over 300,000 Christians are denied the right to take part in the religious observance of their choice. They are a beleaguered community who are fighting for their very survival.”

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  • North Korean defector who was trafficked and imprisoned says, “My life story testifies of the power of prayer”

    07 February 2018 -

    Myoung-Hee, a North Korean defector who now lives in South Korea, has spoken to the charity Open Doors about her experiences of discovering she was from a family of secret Christians, being trafficked in China, and returning to North Korea, only to be arrested and imprisoned. She was eventually able to escape. “My life story testifies of the power of prayer,” she said.

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  • North Korean woman finds faith in labour camp

    05 February 2018 -

    Tens of thousands of Christians are imprisoned for their faith in North Korean labour camps, but for one defector, Esther*, it was going to a labour camp that led her to Jesus. Esther was arrested for escaping to China and taken back to North Korea.

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  • Over 100 Christians sent to ‘re-education’ camps in Xinjiang, China

    02 February 2018 -

    More than 100 Christians have been sent to ‘re-education’ camps in China’s north-western Xinjiang province over the past few months according to Open Doors sources. These ‘mind-transformation centres’ teach citizens to be loyal to the communist ideology. When you’re sent to the camps you don’t know how long you’ll stay. A local church member said, “Some stay there for a month, others for half a year or even longer.”

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  • As UK women celebrate 100 years of voting, women globally are still denied the right to choose their faith freely

    02 February 2018 -

    As we celebrate 100 years of women being given the right to vote in the UK, millions of women around the world are being denied the right to choose which religion they follow, and face sexual violence, abduction and forced marriage because of their religion, says anti-persecution charity Open Doors.

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  • Indian pastor’s suicide is actually murder say church congregation

    29 January 2018 -

    Pastor Daniel was found dead in his church building in Kanchipuram District, Tamil Nadu, India on Saturday. The police declared it a suicide. But his relatives and church members are convinced that he was murdered. “He had been threatened several times by Hindu extremists before to not continue with ministry, we are sure they killed him,” one of Pastor Daniel’s relatives said. 

     

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  • Copt thrown out of village over alleged attack

    25 January 2018 -

    An Egyptian Christian has been thrown out of his village after it was alleged that he attacked a Muslim woman. The Coptic community has been forced to pay the equivalent of nearly 3,000 US dollars to the woman’s family, though they say the allegations are baseless.

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  • Christians in Kurdish-controlled Syria fear for their safety

    23 January 2018 -

    The city of Afrin in the North of Syria is under attack by the Turkish military and its allies. A church in Afrin has issued a plea for protection from the international community. The Church of the Good Shepherd, one of the local churches in the Afrin, asked today for prayer for an end to the attacks on their city and urged the international community to stop the bombings and protect the citizens of Afrin.

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  • Christians in Egypt and Turkey face unprecedented levels of persecution and suppression according to Open Doors’ 2018 World Watch List

    10 January 2018 -

    Christians in Egypt and Turkey face unprecedented levels of persecution and suppression according to figures revealed in anti-persecution charity Open Doors’ 2018 World Watch List; the annual independently audited ranking of the 50 countries where Christians face the most extreme persecution. Every country is scored and given persecution points for restrictions on private, family, community, national and church life as well as violent acts. Last year over 200 Christians were driven out of their homes in Egypt and 128 were killed for their faith. 

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  • Christmas in a closed country: how Christians secretly celebrate in Saudi Arabia

    19 December 2017 -

    Officially Christians in Saudi Arabia aren’t free to celebrate Christmas. Incredibly, migrant Christians working and living there manage to gather in secret. Open Doors workers visited a group of Indian believers living in Saudi Arabia and joined their annual Christmas service to pray and celebrate with them.

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  • Carol singers arrested and held in India on anti-conversion charges

    18 December 2017 -

    Six carol singers have been arrested in India after they were accused of trying to convert people to Christianity. The carol singers, one of whom is a professor at a Catholic theological college, insisted they were only singing songs, but a Hindu man alleged he had been told to ‘worship Jesus Christ’ and offered money to convert to Christianity.

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  • Prime Minister Theresa May receives Bible burnt by Daesh as a symbol of the hope of Christians in Iraq

    14 December 2017 -

    Father Daniel of Erbil Iraq, Lisa Pearce, CEO of Open Doors UK and Ireland and Conservative MP Dame Caroline Spelman met Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday 13 December in Parliament to highlight the plight of Christians and minorities in the Middle East and ask for help in securing a better future for them.Father Daniel presented Prime Minister Theresa May with an Arabic Bible which was found at St Mary’s shrine in Karamles, Iraq, after been burnt by Daesh. The survival of the Bible symbolises the hope which the Christian community in Iraq continue to hold on to.

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  • 80% of Christians driven out of Iraq, 750,000 people from 143 countries sign a petition calling for a better deal for Christians in the Middle East

    13 December 2017 -

    As around 80% of Christians are driven out of Iraq, 750,000 people from 143 countries sign a petition calling for a better deal for Christians and other minorities in the Middle East.

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  • Open Doors supporters help to restore integrity and dignity to Syrian refugees

    06 December 2017 -

    Every month 3,000 Syrian refugees are given food aid by Heart for Lebanon, an Open Doors partner organisation working with displaced Syrians living in Lebanon. “We want to restore integrity and dignity to the refugees. They have already suffered a lot, and now in Lebanon they suffer again because of rejection, lack of opportunities and a lack of resources.” said Camille Melki, head of Open Doors supported organisation, Heart for Lebanon.

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  • 12 year old aspiring teacher back at school in recently liberated Karamles, Iraq

    27 November 2017 -

    Schools in the Nineveh Plain, Iraq are open for the first time since so-called Islamic State (IS) militants occupied the area. Twelve-year-old aspiring teacher, Noeh is pleased to be back at school and is doing well despite the lack of teachers and resources.

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  • Refugee children traumatised by IS get art therapy help

    23 November 2017 -

    Iraqi refugee children in Jordan are being helped to process their trauma and heartache with art therapy classes, supported by Open Doors.

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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