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Template:Infobox Non-profit Open Doors is a non-denominational Christian mission supporting what it perceives as persecuted Christian believers in more than 45 countries where they consider Christianity to be socially or legally discouraged or oppressed.[1] They are also engaged in the distribution of Bibles and literature, audio recordings, broadcasting and training.[2]

History

Open Doors was founded in 1955 by Andrew van der Bijl, a Dutchman more widely known as Brother Andrew, when he decided to smuggle his own brand of bibles to Christians[3] he felt were being discriminated against in the then-Soviet Poland.

Brother Andrew continued this work in smuggling bibles to Christians in many of the Soviet countries and in 1957 was given a blue Volkswagen Beetle which he used to deliver to countries inside the Communist bloc.[4] With this new car he was able to carry more literature. The work of Open Doors was expanding through the extension of its network throughout Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.

In 1981, they delivered one million contraband Chinese bibles in one night to a beach in the village of Gezhou in China on a mission they named Project Pearl.[5] In 1988, Open Doors used Glasnost[6] as an opportunity to openly provide one million Russian Bibles to the Russian Orthodox Church, at a cost of $2.5 million.[7] Open Doors partnered with the United Bible Societies to complete the task in just over one year.[8]

In 2003, Christian Today reported that Open Doors have delivered 4 million Bibles and scriptural documents to persecuted Christians and trained 22,000 pastors and church leaders in that year.[9]

As of August, 2007, Open Doors had offices in 27 countries.[10] In 2008 Open Doors USA delivered 3.9 million pieces of literature such as Bibles and training materials to people in various countries and regions where religious persecution are said to occur. These including Central Asia, Vietnam, the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa and Egypt.[11]

Current work

Open Doors works in many countries around the world giving help to Christians. They are involved in :

  • Delivering Bibles and other Christian literature
  • Providing pastoral and discipleship training
  • Conducting seminars on Christian living, family life. "Standing Strong Through the Storm” is the seminar they use to teach churches on how to survive under persecution.[12]
  • Running Bible-based literacy courses
  • Supplying equipment and vocational training to help widows, families of prisoners of conscience, the displaced, and the unemployed to earn a living
  • Providing legal aid and spiritual and emotional comfort to prisoners and their families
  • Financing and supplying equipment to pastors, churches, and Bible colleges
  • Supplying printing presses, radios, cassette players, photocopiers, and A/V and transport equipment
  • Sponsoring Bible colleges, reconciliation ministries and restoration centres for Christian refugees, widows and orphans.

World Watch List

Open Doors also work to inform and motivate the Church to assist Christians it perceives as persecuted. The organisation publishes an annual "World Watch List" that lists the countries they consider to have the strongest persecution of Christians.

Currently the first 10 positions of the list are taken by the following countries:[13]

  1. Template:Country data North Korea
  2. Template:Country data Iran
  3. Template:Country data Saudi Arabia
  4. Template:Country data Somalia
  5. Template:Country data Maldives
  6. Template:Country data Afghanistan
  7. Template:Country data Yemen
  8. Template:Country data Mauritania
  9. Template:Country data Laos
  10. Template:Country data Uzbekistan

See also

References

  1. Marking, J. G. (2005). A Voice Is Calling: Living the Life You Know Exists. A Voice Is Calling. pp. 117. ISBN 1933204079. http://books.google.com/books?id=lx-Rj0TzLLwC&pg=PA117&dq=open+doors+brother+andrew&lr=. Retrieved 2009-04-06.
  2. Green, George W. (2003). Special use vehicles: an illustrated history of unconventional cars and trucks worldwide. McFarland. pp. 151. ISBN 0786412453. http://books.google.com/books?id=CCZcwlhyaJsC&pg=PA151&dq=open+doors+brother+andrew&lr=. Retrieved 2009-04-06.
  3. Hertzke, Allen D. (2004). Freeing God's children. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 0742508048. http://books.google.com/books?id=oEBROQZMCo0C&pg=PA401&dq=open+doors+brother+andrew&lr=. Retrieved 2009-04-06.
  4. Desmond, Kevin (2005). The Least Likely: If God Can Use Them, He Can Use You!. Kregel Publications. pp. 113. ISBN 0825460611. http://books.google.com/books?id=a_BavuACGbkC&pg=PA113&lpg=PA113&dq=%22open+doors%22+%22brother+andrew%22+blue+volkswagen&source=bl&ots=h4AF5f1iFj&sig=hemq06C8IAKUSQnEBX__WXTfvpQ&hl=en&ei=RtHaSZ_nM5iGkAWshYTLCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2. Retrieved 2009-04-07.
  5. Hoyle, Russ; Bing W. Wong (1981-10-19). "Risky Rendezvous at Swatow". TIME Magazine. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,924980,00.html. Retrieved 2009-04-07.
  6. "Local News in Brief: Santa Ana Group to Legally Ship Million Bibles to Russia". Los Angeles Times: p. 2. 1988-08-06. ISSN 04583035. http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=59843197&sid=1&Fmt=3&clientId=20886&RQT=309&VName=PQD. Retrieved 2009-04-07.(Registration required)
  7. Brodeur, Nicole (1988-10-15). "OC charity to ship first load of Bibles to Soviets by Dec. 25". Orange County Register: p. b.08. ISSN 08864934. http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=150281421&sid=1&Fmt=3&clientId=20886&RQT=309&VName=PQD. Retrieved 2009-04-07. (Registration required)
  8. Owen, Mary (1989-12-30). "County-based ministry has sent 1 million Bibles to Christians in USSR". Orange County Register: p. E.05. ISSN 08864934. http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=151147871&sid=1&Fmt=3&clientId=20886&RQT=309&VName=PQD. Retrieved 2009-04-07. (Registration required)
  9. Or, Eunice K. Y. (2005-06-15). "Open Doors' Brother Andrew Reflects on 50th Anniversary". Christian Today. http://www.christiantoday.com/article/open.doors.brother.andrew.reflects.on.history.of.the.ministry.on.the.50th.anniversary/3435.htm. Retrieved 2009-04-07.
  10. "When is Being a Peaceful Follower of Christ a Death Sentence?". Los Angeles Sentinel 72 (54): p. C7. 2007-08-16. http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=1402547791&sid=1&Fmt=3&clientId=20886&RQT=309&VName=PQD. Retrieved 2009-04-07. (Registration required)
  11. "Ministry a laser beam of light in dark corner". Mission Network News. 2009-03-10. http://www.mnnonline.org/article/12403. Retrieved 2009-04-07.
  12. Dykstra, Jerry. "Preparing for Persecution in Indonesia". Christian Broadcasting Network. http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/ChurchAndMinistry/PersecutionWatch/ans_PersecutionSeminar.aspx. Retrieved 2009-04-07.
  13. "The Open Doors World Watch List, 2010". Open Doors. http://www.opendoorsuk.org/resources/documents/WorldWatchList.pdf. Retrieved 2010-08-11.

External links

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