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Persecution News

LIGHTS IN THE DARKNESS

Imagine being told that if you go to church, you could die.

This was the situation facing a group of Christians one Easter in Pakistan.

Despite the very real danger, this group of Christians decided to gather in their church the night before Easter – the threats of extremists would not stop them from meeting to worship Jesus.


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"Prayer and giving money often feels like it is too easy, but it's not! It is making a huge difference in places like this"
- Lydia, Open Doors representative visiting Erbil, Iraq
 
  • Why there are no Christians in 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. “Christians do not play football in Egypt,” said Remon Zakhry,

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  • The secret faith of a Saudi mother

    19 June 2018 -

    'Ding.' The sound of an incoming message disturbs the silence in Nawal’s* kitchen. She had just been preparing lunch for her young children. It’s a WhatsApp message from an unknown number. Just a few words - an encouraging message in Arabic. She knows this is a message from her Christian friend, letting her know that she is praying for her. It's the only way Nawal is able to connect with her church family.

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  • Beatings, dreams and miracles for believer in Tunisia

    18 June 2018 -

    "A month after my conversion my family discovered it. My brothers even threatened to kill me."This is the story of Maysam*, a believer from a Muslim background in Tunisia. When her family discovered her faith, they put her under house arrest and stopped her from attending university.

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  • Five Dads to thank God for this Father’s Day

    15 June 2018 -

    Imagine knowing that, because you have decided to follow Jesus, your children will suffer, and could be in danger. This is the reality facing many of our persecuted brothers around the world who are fathers. But your support and prayers are enabling Open Doors to help these fathers to care for their children and provide for their needs – thank you for being family to them! We’d like to tell you about just a few of them – please keep them and their children in your prayers.

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  • Open letter demands justice for missing Pastor Raymond Koh

    15 June 2018 -

    The wives of the abducted Malaysian pastor Raymond Koh and Muslim social activist Amri Che Mat have written an open letter to the country’s prime minister, asking for an immediate and independent investigation into the disappearance of their husbands.

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  • 2018 World Cup: Pray when they play

    14 June 2018 -

    The 2018 World Cup is here! Russia is hosting the month-long tournament to decide which country’s football skills come out on top, with 32 countries set to compete. But before we get caught up in all the hype, let’s not forget that seven of those countries are also on another list – the Open Doors 2018 World Watch List, which ranks the top 50 countries where it is most dangerous to be a Christian. 

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  • Four Iranian Christians await call to begin ten-year prison sentences

    13 June 2018 -

    Any day now, four Iranian Christians could receive a phone call. They will be told to report to the prison gate in their home city of Rasht. And once inside they will begin ten-year sentences for nothing more than exercising their faith. Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, and fellow Church of Iran members Yasser Mossayebzadeh, Saheb Fadaie and Mohammad Reza Omidi have all been convicted of running house churches and ‘promoting Zionist Christianity’. They appealed against their sentences to Iran’s notorious Revolutionary Court in December last year. Sadly they lost their appeal, and now, according to the London-based advocacy organisation Article 18, they could receive a call any time to report to the prison.

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  • Christians denied vital aid in Yemen

    13 June 2018 -

    As the war in Yemen continues, leaving over 22 million Yemenis in need of humanitarian assistance and 8.4 million people on the brink of famine according to the International Crisis Group, Open Doors contacts say that Christians are being excluded from receiving vital humanitarian aid. Henriette Kats, an Open Doors researcher, says, “Contacts in the country have repeatedly stated that where citizens are known to be Christians, they are regularly being excluded from receiving humanitarian aid.”

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  • What do North Koreans think of the Trump-Kim summit?

    12 June 2018 -

    Now that the historic meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un has taken place, what do North Korean Christians make of it?

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  • Iraq: A pumpkin patch in paradise

    11 June 2018 -

    Thanks to your support, Open Doors local partners in Iraq have been able to invest in more than 200 microloan projects, including churches and Christians who run small businesses, enabling them to bring life and hope to their communities. 

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  • How to pray for North Korea

    11 June 2018 -

    Brother Andrew, the founder of Open Doors, says, “Our prayers can go where we cannot. There are no borders, no prison walls, no doors that are closed to us when we pray.” North Korea may be the most dangerous place in the world to be a Christian, but not even Kim Jong-un and his most deadly secret agents can hold back the hand of God. Our prayers make a real difference for our brothers and sisters in North Korea.

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  • Q&A with North Korean Christian on Trump-Kim summit

    11 June 2018 -

    Ahead of the historic summit between North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump, Open Doors spoke to John Choi*, a North Korean Christian who now lives in the UK.

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  • Five things to know about life in North Korea, the nightmare nation

    08 June 2018 -

    As President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un meet, denuclearisation and international relations are likely to be the main focus. But it’s the people of North Korea who face the daily nightmare of living under Kim Jong-un’s regime. These are five things you should know about life in North Korea.

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  • Courage and forgiveness shown by church bombing survivors in Indonesia

    06 June 2018 -

    If your church was bombed while you were inside, would you want to go back to the wreckage? This is what the members of the Surabaya Pentecostal Church decided to do, just one week after their church was bombed by Islamic extremists, killing 8 people and injuring others. They have shown incredible courage and grace in the face of violent persecution. These are their stories.

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  • Open Doors meets UN officials to advocate for Pastor Koh's release

    05 June 2018 -

    Open Doors supporters in the UK joined with supporters in France, Australia and the USA to call upon Malaysian officials to bring justice for Raymond Koh and Amri Che Mat, Pastor Hilmy and Ruth Sitepu, who were also kidnapped around the same time. Already there have been some positive developments.

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  • Pakistan: Deaths of Christian sewage workers highlight discrimination and injustice

    05 June 2018 -

    Two Christians have died while cleaning a sewer in Pakistan. The deaths of Saqib Masih (19) and Mushtaq Masih (45) once again highlight the way in which Christians in Pakistan are deprived of education, protection and decent, dignified work.

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  • Why was Pastor Koh abducted in a coordinated attack?

    01 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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  • As talks between Trump and North Korea remain in question, North Korean escapee asks for continued prayers

    31 May 2018 -

    President Donald Trump pulled out of talks with North Korea on 24 May, although both sides have since made fresh efforts to hold the summit as planned. This comes after North Korea pulled out of talks with South Korea on 16 May. We spoke to John Choi, a North Korean Christian who was able to escape and now lives in the UK, to give us the North Korean perspective on recent events.

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  • Church member killed in Islamic State attack in Chechnya

    21 May 2018 -

    So-called Islamic State has 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. There were approximately 30 people inside when the attack started. Seven people were killed in the attack - two police officers who were guarding the church, one church member and the four militants. Two more security officers and another church member were injured. They are now recovering in hospital.

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  • Believers in the Philippines rebuild their lives one year after Marawi siege

    21 May 2018 -

    On Wednesday 23 May it will be one year since Marawi, a city on the Mindanao island of the Philippines, was invaded by Islamic extremists. The Maute group, an affiliate of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS), held the city for five months, displacing 98 per cent of the population. Your support and prayers helped to provide vital aid for our brothers and sisters who were forced to flee their homes, and Open Doors partners have begun repairing homes and rebuilding lives.

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  • Ten killed in attack on Christian college in South Sudan

    18 May 2018 -

    At least 10 people have been killed in an attack on Emmanuel Christian College (ECC) in Goli, Yei County in South Sudan on 14 May. The college is a training institution Open Doors constructed in partnership with the Sudan Evangelical Presbyterian Church. The Open Doors Regional Director for sub-Saharan Africa, JP Pretorius, says, “We call on the international Christian community to rally in prayer around staff at the ECC and the church in South Sudan. We also call on the international community to do whatever it can to help bring an end to the hostilities in South Sudan and on the South Sudan government to take swift action to bring the perpetrators to justice.”

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  • Christians and Muslims in Marawi unite during Ramadan as the Philippines recovers from Islamist violence

    16 May 2018 -

    On 23 May last year, three days into Ramadan, the Philippine city of Marawi was overrun by the Maute group, an affiliate of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS). This year, as the city recovers, Christian families have been encouraged to ‘accompany their Muslim neighbours in fasting, prayer and service to the poor’, and ‘to sacrifice one meal in any day of Ramadan and to donate the cost of the meal to the rehabilitation of Marawi communities’. Local bishop Edwin de la Pena said this year’s Ramadan would be an opportunity to promote peacebuilding involving Muslim and Christian youths in the troubled Mindanao region, to which Marawi belongs. Reynaldo Barnido, who leads a rehabilitation project in Marawi, says, “This year’s Ramadan is a celebration of victory against individuals and groups who intended to destroy the unity we’re forging between Christians and Muslims.”

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  • Hope for the Middle East: 8,000 families return to Iraq’s Nineveh Plains as houses are repaired

    15 May 2018 -

    Churches play a key role in encouraging families to return. So thanks to your generosity Open Doors’ local partners are financially supporting churches as they help those who want to return by giving grants for repairing their homes. Thanks to you, 795 houses have been restored in the villages in the Nineveh Plains.

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  • Brother Andrew visits Pakistan: 'Don’t ever forget we are here for the Book'

    14 May 2018 -

    Brother Andrew recently celebrated his 90th birthday. A little while before that, the man who became known as ‘God’s Smuggler’, returned from a rare visit to his beloved Pakistan. The trip cost him a lot of energy, but still, he enjoyed every minute of it. And his message sounded just as strong as when he first arrived in this beleagured nation. ‘Don’t ever forget we are here for the Book.’

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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