Our persecuted brethren cry out for our prayers - not for comfort and escape - but to testify to the grace and faithfulness of God. Open Doors equips believers to stand with the persecuted in prayer, and takes teams around the world to encourage and pray directly with brothers and sisters under pressure. Our Advocacy program enables ordinary Christians to seek justice for the oppressed by influencing those in positions of political power.
Our temptation as Christians is to focus on our own lives and not much beyond the life of our church because we intimately know the needs of our immediate family and the needs of our church.
But we have not been called to be just an active member of our small Christian circle, but we are called to the ends of the earth.
Our mission field is as big as the earth is round...and so is our Christian family! If you go on an international mission trip, you will see this truth firsthand.
We really are one family in Christ and it is a joy to know that we all love and serve the same God! Now with that picture in your mind, let's go further and explore how we desire to treat the members of our own family.
For those whom we love, don’t we pray for them regularly? For the pastor’s wife whose husband was killed because he preached the Gospel, who is our sister, we can strengthen and encourage her through our prayers. For the teenager sentenced to hard labor in a prison camp for reading her Bible, we can pray that she receives hope. For the son excommunicated from his family for following Christ, we can pray that he receives love and acceptance from his heavenly family. Prayer is always the first request of or persecuted brothers and sisters.
We express our love for our families by spending time with them. Open Doors creates opportunities for Christians here in the United States to visit our persecuted brothers and sisters throughout the world. There is no substitute for the building of friendships and strengthening the familial bonds than meeting face-to-face. This tangible expression of love powerfully communicates to the persecuted that they are not alone, but that they have a far larger family than what their eyes can see. We encourage you to consider going on one of our Ends of the Earth trips. You’ll know firsthand what being “blessed to be a blessing” really means.
If you saw that a family member was being treated unjustly, wouldn’t you say something? Especially if they were not able to speak for themselves? The persecuted often do not have a voice because they are politically discriminated against as a minority. But we can make a difference. Petitions, campaigns, events and letter-writing can help turn the tide of these injustices. These governments that either turn a blind eye to the injustices, or intentionally promote them, will know that the world is watching and there will be consequences for their actions. These abuses are intended to be kept quiet, but our intention is to bring them out into the light of truth for the world to see and for political leaders to respond to the outcry for justice.
To meet these needs, our churches must also get involved. Open Doors helps promote the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church which is an annual event focused on raising prayer support and awareness for the reality of persecution that over 400,000 Christians worldwide live with. We also sponsor a Bridge Builders program that enlists volunteers to serve as ambassadors for the persecuted to churches throughout the United States. The only way for us to be an effective Church is to recognize that our calling goes far beyond the four walls of where we meet on Sunday mornings. We are vital members of the growing kingdom of God and we are enlisted as the Lord’s foot soldier on this earth to express the truth and love of God throughout the world.