As a ministry, Open Doors began in 1955 when a young Dutchman (Brother Andrew) was burdened to reach out to Christians in Eastern Europe—the Soviet Union.
On his first trip, he saw entire underground churches with just one Bible to share!
Brother Andrew was drawn to this region of the world because, at the time, that was where persecution was the greatest and most extreme. Since then, it has shifted to places like the Middle East, North Korea and Nigeria.
The recent growth of the Islamic extremist group, ISIS, has dramatically heightened persecution in the Middle East and countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union. We find ourselves praying daily for Christians enduring extreme persecution in these nations today.
The suicide bombers that recently executed the attack on Istanbul Ataturk Airport in Turkey show that ISIS is beginning to recruit in areas that have historically been strongholds of Christian persecution; the bombers were citizens of Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, three countries that were once part of the USSR.
In this post-Soviet region (now known as Central Asia), radical Islam is growing alongside the post-communist oppression that has remained since the fall of the USSR. We have even seen recent laws making it risky for Christians to meet or share the gospel in Russia.
Will you join with us to pray for this region, as persecution at the hands of Islamic extremists seems to be increasing rapidly? This region first held a special place in Brother Andrew’s heart all those years ago, and we are thankful for your diligent prayers for the same region today.