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Press Releases

  • 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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  • Elderly and vulnerable face Christmas alone in Syria

    18 December 2018 -

    The elderly and vulnerable were unable to flee Syria during the seven year crisis. They face another bleak Christmas alone in Syria. Open Doors is appealing for help to support the vulnerable who are struggling to cope with the effects of the war and lack basic food and medicines.Over the seven year crisis more than five million Syrians fled to surrounding countries seeking safety and work. Those that left the country were predominately aged between 18 and 45. They were the breadwinners of the family, the affluent and able.

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  • 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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"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