Wherever possible, Open Doors has responded with tangible help. Our partners know about these stories because they have served as first responders, bringing believers the food and supplies they needed when they faced discrimination or were left out of relief efforts in their villages because of their faith.
Despite all the restrictions, increased monitoring, threats from groups hostile to Christians and the health risks, God has opened the way for Open Doors workers and partners to give aid in many places where Christians experience persecution.
In Asia alone, more than 100,000 persecuted Christians have received urgent aid and relief through Open Doors’ local teams and partner networks. Approximately 18,500 Christian families received an emergency relief kit full of food, sanitation materials and other daily necessities. Sometimes the kit is enough to sustain a family for two months, and sometimes it’s smaller and the family is visited every few weeks.
“Without your prayers and support, the persecuted church would look a lot different in Asia,” Sam says. “Many Christians would certainly die of malnutrition and starvation, or decide that following Jesus is too hard.
“The reason we are called ‘Open Doors’ is because for God, no door is shut,” Open Doors’ Asia director says, “and the global Body of Christ came through as well. The response in prayer and giving from supporters around the world is amazing. God has used them. Thanks to Open Doors’ supporters, there will still be a church after corona in many places where its existence was threatened.”
When our Africa team learned that Christians were receiving six times smaller food rations, we set up an orderly distribution system for villages to bring them aid. Since then, Nigeria’s borders have closed. Our teams are currently working hard to find ways to deliver food.
When nurses in the Gulf shared their stories and plight, Open Doors partners supplied gowns, gloves and masks to equip them to safely do their job and care for patients. When we saw starving families in this region, our partners brought them bags of rice—and also dignity and hope.
“Every bag of rice says that there is hope,” Hana says. “Everywhere we go to distribute supplies, people invite us in. Sometimes we can accept and spend some time with the families. People long for this being together. And what’s even more important: If the husband is out working and cannot come home, he knows his family has food in the house.
“The Christian families know we are standing with them. This makes a massive difference. Even when people receive food and vitamins, they function better and make better decisions. We are building their dignity too.”
‘We cannot stop now’
Around the world, the need continues. Open Doors aims to help an additional 25,000 to 50,000 Christians in the coming months.
“Thanks to the gracious support of donors, we were able to scale up quickly and double the number of people [we’ve been able to help],” says Open Doors’ Asia director. “We cannot stop now. We have identified thousands more families whose lives are in danger because they don’t have food or income.”
Yasin in West Africa asks for continued and fervent prayer: “We know that you are praying already for persecuted believers. I would like to encourage you to keep up your fervent prayer. The Word of God in James 5:6 says: ‘Therefore, pray for each other, so that you may be healed.’ The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”