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Open Doors News

Life-saving aid for 1,000 Rohingya refugees

Over half a million Rohingya people have fled violence in Rakhine state, Myanmar. More than half are children. They are seeking refuge across the border in Bangladesh. With little food or safe water, most are suffering from fever and water-borne diseases; they desperately need food supplies and medicine.Open Doors has delivered food aid to Rohingya families living in a makeshift refugee camp in Bangladesh.

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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
 
  • No justice for murdered Punjabi church leader

    17 October 2017 -

    The family of murdered church leader, Sultan Masih, claim the police ‘are not taking the case seriously’ and that 'they have yet to find any concrete leads' despite CCTV footage of the shooting. “In the name of interrogation, we are being harassed by the police,” said Alisha Masih, Sultan's son. 

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

    17 October 2017 -

    China's Communist Party is feeling increasingly threatened by the ‘uncontrolled growth of Christianity’ in the country. The number of Christians is estimated by some to reach 247 million by 2030, many of whom are in the booming underground church. Some experts are now warning that, threatened by such uncontrolled growth the Communist Party may be preparing a sweeping crackdown.

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  • Families return home to Karamles '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 slowed because of the continuing fear of IS and uncertainty caused by the Kurdish referendum.

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  • Thank you for making Standing Strong Birmingham 'awe-inspiring'!

    16 October 2017 -

    We had a fantastic time at Standing Strong Birmingham on Saturday (14 October), celebrating God's faithfulness with 1,500 supporters from across the UK, and speakers from Nigeria, Lebanon, Jordan and India - thank you to everyone who came and made it such a great day!

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  • Coptic priest murdered in Cairo

    16 October 2017 -

    A Coptic priest has been hacked to death in Cairo. Father Samaan Shehata, a 45-year-old Coptic Orthodox priest, from the Beni Suef district south of Cairo, was visiting the capital for a conference when a man reportedly stopped his vehicle and then attacked him with a cleaver. His death is the latest in a wave of violence which has hit the Coptic churche, including bombings and kidnappings. It provoked a strong response both in Egypt and abroad.

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  • Unjustly imprisoned by his family for becoming a Christian

    10 October 2017 -

    Bulus*, 32, 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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  • Egypt: Kidnapped Christian girl released

    09 October 2017 -

    Sixteen year old Marylin was kidnapped in June to be converted to Islam, then married off. She was recently released and returned to her family after police found her and arrested her kidnappers in a city just outside Cairo. Marylin’s kidnapping was part of a series of disappearances in which Coptic girls were targeted by Islamist networks.

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  • Life-saving aid for 1,000 Rohingya refugees

    04 October 2017 -

    Open Doors has delivered food aid to Rohingya families living in a makeshift refugee camp in Bangladesh. Over half a million Rohingya people have fled violence in Rakhine state, Myanmar. More than half are children. They are seeking refuge across the border in Bangladesh. With little food or safe water, most are suffering from fever and water-borne diseases; they desperately need food supplies and medicine.

    Read more
     
  • Christians imprisoned in Iran appeal sentences

    04 October 2017 -

    Four Christian converts imprisoned in Iran were due to have an appeal hearing on Wednesday 4 October, at the 36th Branch of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. The men are Yousef Nadarkhani, Mohammadreza Omidi, Yasser Mossayebzadeh and Saheb Fadaie. Their lawyer has appealed the 10-year prison sentences the four received for propagating house churches and promoting ‘Zionist Christianity’.

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  • Families in Iraqi village believe 'Tomorrow will be more beautiful' as they return to their homes

    28 September 2017 -

    There is a wall in Bashiqa, a village in the Nineveh Plain that was invaded by the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS), with writing in Arabic that says, "Tomorrow will be more beautiful." Despite the uncertainties caused by the recent referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan, families are returning to their homes in liberated Bashiqa, thanks to your support and prayers - they're beginning to make this beautiful future a reality.

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  • Iraqi Christians fear referendum vote will bring more violence

    24 September 2017 -

    Less than a year after Mosul and the Nineveh Plains were liberated from self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS), Christians in Iraq fear a new wave of violence might be about to begin. The cause of their anxiety is the highly controversial independence referendum in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq which takes place today (25 September). Iraq's prime minister has called the referendum 'unconstitutional', while a 'no for now' movement says it's wrong given the current fight against IS. For their part, Christians in the disputed Nineveh Plains fear that the referendum will spark new violence in the recently liberated area

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  • Christian children return home to Karamles, Iraq

    20 September 2017 - Christian children and their families have started to return to their homes in Karamles, Iraq, after the village was liberated and self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) were defeated in nearby Mosul. Among the first to return was 12-year-old Noeh and his sister, Salina, seven. Noeh's house was completely destroyed by IS militants so the family is staying in his aunt's house. "After the liberation in October we found out that Islamic State had burned our house. I was very sad when I saw it for the first time," says Noeh. Read more
     
  • Worship banned in two churches in Kazakhstan

    14 September 2017 -

    Courts in Kazakhstan have banned two churches from meeting for worship. A court in Almaty - the largest city in the country - fined the Protestant Source of Life Church and banned it from 13 April to 12 July because it had been meeting in a venue away from its registered address, even though the church had informed the authorities. An official from the Religious Affairs Department said they will 'fine them again' if the church continues to meet. Meanwhile in Oskemen, eastern Kazakhstan, the New Life Protestant Church was banned from meeting for three months because its members sang religious songs at a summer camp

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  • Pastor in Tajikistan faces three years in prison after appeal fails

    14 September 2017 -

    Please remember Tajik pastor Bahrom Holmatov in your prayers. In April 2017, Pastor Holmatov was arrested and imprisoned for three years on false accusations of 'singing extremist songs in church and so inciting religious hatred'. An Open Doors letter-writing campaign has been started to encourage him while waiting for an appeal to be heard. After initially being postponed, the appeal was heard recently and, sadly, the original decision was upheld. Bahrom now faces three years in prison for nothing more than exercising his right to believe

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  • Church leader optimistic despite upcoming referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan

    11 September 2017 - The Archbishop of Mosul Yohanna Petros Mouche has said he is 'very optimistic' about the future of the church in Iraq, despite the uncertainty created by the upcoming referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan. The referendum is due to take place on 25 September. The Archbishop said, "It is not clear what the future will look like. We have this issue between the Kurdish and Iraqi governments. We don't know what the outcome of a referendum will mean for the Christians and for other minorities." Read more
     
  • Three Christians beheaded on Somali border

    11 September 2017 -

    Three Christians were beheaded on Wednesday 6 September by suspected Al-Shabaab militants in Lamu West, near Hindi. At about 1.30am, a group of around 30 men, armed with AK-47 rifles, surrounded homes in Bobo village and called out the names of the three non-Muslim men, according to local sources. When the men came out, the assailants ordered them to show their ID cards, before beheading them. The three victims were all Christians. Gerald Wanjohi was one: his wife Catherine climbed onto the roof when the attackers broke down their door

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  • Back to school for Syrian refugee children

    05 September 2017 - "I want to be a civil engineer, I want to help to reconstruct my country," says 13-year-old Farouq*, a Syrian refugee in Lebanon. He missed years of school when his family fled to Lebanon to escape the war, making his dream of becoming a civil engineer seem impossible. But thanks to the support and prayers of people like you, Farouq is now attending a school being run by a church in east Lebanon with support from Open Doors partners. Read more
     
  • Open Doors provides life-saving aid to flood survivors in Bangladesh

    05 September 2017 - Open Doors partners have distributed relief to nearly 250 families - believers from Muslim or Hindu backgrounds - in three districts in Bangladesh following last month's devastating flood. Hundreds died and nearly 300,000 people have been displaced across Bangladesh in the wake of the disaster. Christians who had lost everything said that they faced discrimination over aid distribution. Thankfully, with this support, over a thousand believers will be receiving life saving food aid. Read more
     
  • 'Never before have I seen so many North Koreans come to faith'

    04 September 2017 - "The spiritual battle always intensifies when God is doing something amazing." These are the words of an Open Doors contact who has worked with North Korean refugees in China for many years. He has asked us to pass on this message to all those who pray for North Korea and ministries like his. Read more
     
  • Prayer request for Rohingya people fleeing fierce violence

    03 September 2017 - 'Friends, we ask for your prayers for the Rohingya Muslims and Christian converts who are in great distress in Myanmar,' writes an Open Doors contact in South East Asia.In recent weeks, the Rohingya people - a Muslim-minority group containing Christian converts living in Rakhine State - have suffered fierce attacks from the Burmese military and Buddhist neighbours. Villages have been burnt, people raped and scores killed in violence, causing as many as 87,000 people to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh. Read more
     
  • Christian woman released after three years in captivity

    29 August 2017 - Three years after being captured by the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS), Rana Esso, a Christian woman, has been released! She returned home to her family in Qaraqosh on Monday 28 August. She was liberated in the suburbs of Tal Afar in north west Iraq. Video footage on social media show Rana's return being celebrated by a cheering crowd, with local music and dance of Christians in Qaraqosh. A local contact of Open Doors says, "All Qaraqosh people were celebrating her release!" Three Yazidi women were also released with Rana, though very little information is known about them currently. Read more
     
  • Songs bring encouragement to young secret believers

    28 August 2017 - Both Bibles and Christian youth meetings are forbidden for ethnic Persians in Iran, but this hasn't stopped young Iranians from hearing God's Word. Recently, a group of new believers secretly met in a Middle Eastern country to take part in discipleship seminars, talk about persecution, and, importantly, worship freely together. "When we worship together, I really feel like my relationship with the Lord is renewed," says Mozhgan*. Read more
     
  • Rebuilding Hope in Karamles

    24 August 2017 - Noeh is just 12. He says that God gives him the hope that he will be able to return to Karamles, a town destroyed by the self-proclaimed Islamic State. "I feel the Holy Spirit inside me... He tells me it is good to live in Karamles again." Of the 797 houses in Karamles, 97 are now piles of rubble, 446 were completely burnt out, like Noeh's, and the others are damaged. Your prayers and support have enabled our local partners to repair 30 homes in Karamles so far, with 20 more on the list. Read more
     
  • 'God has sent you from heaven' say Aleppo families

    24 August 2017 - In Syria, while some have been able to repair their homes and start small business in areas that have become more stable, thousands remain in great need as the war continues. Your prayers and support are enabling Open Doors' partners to provide 15,500 Syrian families with food packs and hygiene kits. Samer's* family is one of those receiving food through a local church that Open Doors partners with in Aleppo. He has a job, but still struggles to support his family. "My salary is too low," Samer explains. "I have a salary of about 60 US dollars a month. Half of it goes to the home rent." Read more
     
  • Grandmother forced to live in classroom as thousands are displaced by Islamic militants

    23 August 2017 - Open Doors team members have met a 73-year-old grandmother who has been forced to live in a classroom in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), as thousands are forced to flee their homes by Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an Islamic militant group. Marie had lived in Kamango, a town in North Kivu Province near the Ugandan border, all her life, until suspected ADF militants attacked her community last year. Read more
     
"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