What is Open Doors USA?
Open Doors is an international non-profit ministry that supports and strengthens persecuted Christians. Our goal at Open Doors USA is to connect and strengthen believers worldwide, empowering them to reach out in love to their neighbors. By informing, inspiring and involving believers in the US, we hope to build deep and lasting connections within the body of Christ and meet the ongoing needs of persecuted Christians.
What is persecution and how many Christians experience it?
Though it is sometimes difficult to identify the difference between persecution and the everyday inconveniences of living in a world hostile towards Christianity, there are some clear defining factors.
Persecution occurs whenever a believer is denied the protection of religious freedom, prevented from converting to Christianity because of legal or social threats, physically attacked or killed because of their faith, forced to leave their job or home because of the threat of violence, or imprisoned and interrogated for refusing to deny their faith.
Over 100 million Christians worldwide suffer interrogation, arrest and even death for their faith, with millions more facing discrimination and alienation. Open Doors is at work strengthening these believers in over 45 of the most persecuted countries worldwide. Persecution Happening Now
How was Open Doors USA started?
Open Doors was founded in 1955 by Brother Andrew from Holland. Moved with compassion for those isolated in the Soviet Union, Brother Andrew’s first mission was to smuggle Bibles behind the Iron Curtain. This story is found in the book, “God’s Smuggler,” which has sold over 10 million copies in 36 languages. Open Doors has carried on Brother Andrew’s legacy by distributing millions of Bibles worldwide each year. Read Brother Andrew’s Story
What is the mission of Open Doors USA?
Open Doors is committed to working in the world’s most oppressive countries, strengthening Christians to stand strong in the face of persecution and equipping them to shine Christ’s light in these dark places.
One of the greatest challenges to Christians living under tyranny and oppression is isolation – from God’s word and from the body of Christ.
Where other Christian organizations cannot enter or have been forced to flee by oppressive governments or cultures, Open Doors can be found working for and with persecuted Christians.
When we strengthen persecuted believers in the Lord, they begin to demonstrate God’s forgiveness and reach out in love, even to their oppressors.
The witness of the persecuted church has a unique power to reach lives and communities that would otherwise never be open to the gospel – but they cannot do it alone.
Brother Andrew put it this way: “Our very mission is called ‘Open Doors’ because we believe that any door is open, anytime and anywhere….to proclaim Christ.”
Why does Open Doors focus on persecuted Christians?
This is a great question. Does Open Doors address the various epidemics facing the world today? Absolutely. In fact, this is built into the very core of our organization.
Persecuted Christians understand how to reach out to their unique cultures. When Open Doors provides the resources and finances and works alongside persecuted Christians, they reach out to their local communities by meeting tangible needs and demonstrating the compassion of Christ in the most effective ways.
In short, the mission of Open Doors extends far beyond helping the persecuted church. Our vision is for all to experience the love of Jesus, whether in receiving urgently needed food and medical supplies, or in participating in education and rebuilding communities for long-term recovery. When persecuted Christians are strengthened, they reach out and benefit those around them.
What does Open Doors USA do?
Open Doors’ outreach includes Bible and Christian literature distribution, leadership training and assistance, Christian community development, prayerand presence ministry and advocacy for the persecuted.
In 2011, Open Doors delivered more than 3.1 million Bibles, study Bibles, children’s Bibles, training materials and other Christian materials to persecuted believers in 50 countries. Open Doors trained 263,542 people from theological courses to shorter seminars. Also in 2011, Open Doors served 172,137 through community development projects.
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What about the Open Doors Logo?
The Ichthus Sign was used as a secret form of communication between the persecuted believers of the early church in the Roman Catacombs. Often they would scratch this Ichthus symbol on the ground to identify themselves to fellow believers. Open Doors’ specialized mission is to serve the Persecuted Church worldwide. The Ichthus sign immediately makes the connection.
Barbwire represents people in prison or labor camps, people who have lost their freedom. We at Open Doors are called to serve brothers and sisters who are behind barbwire because they follow and serve the Lord Jesus Christ. The combination of the barbwire and the fish, twined together, makes this logo very unique. It indentifies the people we would like to serve, Christians (fish), it makes their situation, lack of freedom (barbwire), and it makes a connection with the past. Persecution has been a constant companion of the Church throughout the ages (Ichthus sign). The Rock is a biblical concept. The word ‘rock’ is often used figuratively in the Bile to speak of God and Christ. As Rock, God is the Creator, His people’s strength, His people defense and refuge and His people’s salvation. In the New Testament, Christ is the Rock from whom the Spirit of life flows, the foundation of the church and its cornerstone.
The Carving in the Rock. To chisel a sign is not easy. This takes time and endurance. It is hard work. It reminds us of running the marathon. Following Christ is an enduring process which call for perseverance.
How can I get involved in social media?
Share prayers for the persecuted, help open the eyes of others and engage in our most current campaigns. Join us on all of the following social networks:
How can I help persecuted Christians?
Visit our homepage for the most relevant ways you can pray, advocate and support persecuted Christians. You can also call our Frontline Care Center 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535).