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Press Releases

  • 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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  • Nigeria - Christians murdered in Fulani attack ahead of Trump-Buhari meetings today

    30 April 2018 -

    On the eve of Nigeria President Buhari’s meeting with President Trump in Washington 19 Christians have been murdered by Fulani herdsmen in another shocking attack. Christians in Nigeria have asked Open Doors to reinforce the importance of raising the complex issue of Fulani herdsmen violence tearing through the Christian community.

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  • 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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"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