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Press releases

  • 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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  • Nigerian teenager, raped in Boko Haram captivity and stigmatised after escaping with her baby, finds healing through trauma care

    23 November 2017 -

    Esther*, a Nigerian teenager who became pregnant when she was raped by Boko Haram militants, has received trauma care and practical support from Open Doors as she begins to heal from her traumatic experiences.

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  • Nigerian girl ‘buries’ father in paper coffin through trauma care

    15 November 2017 -

    A 12-year-old girl from Nigeria, who has been traumatised by not knowing where her dead father is buried, has received trauma care from Open Doors, making him a coffin out of paper to symbolise his burial.

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  • Open Doors partners repair home in Syria that has been in family for 100 years

    14 November 2017 -

    In the parts of Syria that are stable, Open Doors has been able to help some families to rebuild their homes through local partners. Elderly couple Antoom and Basima were able to return to their house in Homs after six years of displacement. Antoom said, “I didn’t expect that we would be able to come back, but we did! I am so happy, this house has belonged to our family for more than 100 years. I thank God for the people who supported us.”

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  • Teenage orphan from Colombia whose parents were killed for their faith uses testimony to encourage others

    06 November 2017 -

    Sofia, a 17-year-old orphan from Colombia whose parents were killed for their faith when she was ten, is using her testimony to encourage others. Sofia says, “I use my story to tell others that, for those who love God, all things work together for good. I try to make people understand that we do not have to turn away from God because of difficult circumstances.”

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  • Persecuted family who witnessed father's murder find hope and healing

    30 October 2017 -

    Wasihun, 11, was just seven when his father, Motuma, was murdered in front of him, for being a Christian. The family gave up hope – sure they could not survive without him. But four years later, with support from Open Doors, the family has provisions, an income and are beginning to heal, though they continue to face persecution for their faith.

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  • ‘Uncontrolled’ growth of Christianity in China makes ‘government nervous’

    24 October 2017 -

    Church leaders and political commentators are warning that 'threatened by the rapid, uncontrolled growth of Christianity, the Communist Party is gearing up for a sweeping crackdown.’

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  • Thousands sign petition to bring hope to the Middle East at Festival of Life

    24 October 2017 -

    Thousands of Christians signed Open Doors Hope for the Middle East petition this weekend (20 October 2017) as they gathered for a night of inspirational worship, prayer and Bible teaching at the Festival of Life, the annual gathering for the Redeemed Christian Church of God.

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  • More Christians are returning home in Iraq 'day after day'

    16 October 2017 -

    Hope remains in Karamles, Iraq, where more people are returning every day, according to Father Thabet who was among the first to return less than a month after Karamles was liberated from Islamic State (IS) militants, one year ago. But the return of families to Christian-majority towns like Karamles has been slower than anticipated. Many still fear for their safety. Both from IS and the effects of the Kurdish referendum.

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  • Unjustly imprisoned in Nigeria by his family for becoming a Christian

    11 October 2017 -

    Bulus* is in prison in Nigeria. His family had him arrested when they found out he was a Christian pastor. Now he’s waiting in an overcrowded cell to have his case heard but it could be up to ten years before there’s any significant progress.

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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