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“Christians in the West have not experienced the persecution our brethren in the Middle East have as you’ll read about in this article. We should be thanking God everyday for the peace we enjoy while praying earnestly for those brethren who are not so fortunate.”  Admin   A document drafted by members of the global Christian community convening at the 3rd International Christian Forum, held in Moscow, detailed how over the past ten years the Middle East’s Christian population has shrunk by 80% and warned that unless current trends are reversed, Christianity “will vanish” from its ancient homelands in a [More]
By News Editors (Natural News) What is the source of …read more Source: Natural News     
One of the main tools Open Doors uses to track and measure the extent of persecution in the world is the World Watch List (#WWL). We have been monitoring the worldwide persecution of Christians since the 1970s. Throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s, the WWL methodology gradually evolved. In 2012, Open Doors’ research unit, World Watch Research (WWR), comprehensively revised the methodology of the WWL to provide greater credibility, transparency, objectivity and scientific quality. And in 2013 and 2016, we further refined the methodology. Each year, the World Watch List is independently audited by the only institution with academics dedicated to studying [More]
In the reporting period for the 2018 World Watch List, four trends have played a significant role in the persecution of Christians worldwide. By no means are they the only trends affecting believers globally. However, our research and reports from our on-the-ground partners and field reps in more than 60 countries indicate that these trends are the major forces influencing the persecution of Christians around the world. We identify and highlight them to provide insight into the battle the global Church is facing today.    Read More: The 4 Major Trends Influencing Global Christian Persecution – Open Doors USA
For the last six decades, North Korea (#1 on the 2018 World Watch List for the 16th year) has waged war on Christianity. The Kim dynasty (Kim Il-Sung, Kim Jong-Il and now Kim Jong-Un) has deported and even killed entire families who follow Jesus. With Kim Jong-Un as the new leader of the cruel regime, researchers and analysts expect that life may get even worse for Christians. Below, one of our reps draws from interviews with North Korean refugees, secrets letters from North Korean church leaders, research and accounts from the book Escaping from North Korea to bring us this informative [More]
As all the studies started coming out in the last decade on how at least two-thirds of young adults are turning away from Christianity, a lot of attention started turning toward high schoolers. That attention is rightly placed, given that high school-age kids need strong spiritual preparation for the college world they’re approaching. Some attention has also been given to middle school-age kids. This is critical, as studies have also shown that much of a child’s spiritual formation is set by age 13 and these kids need a far more robust spiritual training than they’ve traditionally received. Meanwhile, most elementary-age [More]
In our backyard we used to have a beautiful lime tree. One day I noticed that a thorny vine of some kind had started growing around it. It looked enough like the rest of the tree that I figured it was just another stage of growth. A quick Google search told me thorns often grow around citrus trees, so I didn’t think much more about it. Then, within a couple of months, the thorns took over the tree and it began to die. A gardener looked at it and said these particular thorns weren’t part of the tree at all. [More]
“Interesting article that mainly focuses on the benefits of regular church attendance beyond just the spiritual ones.”  Admin The inexorable drop in U.S. church attendance is not just a matter of concern for religious believers, but for everyone, a new report suggests.   With its well-earned reputation for being one of the more religious countries in the world, the United States has experienced an alarming dip in religiosity over the last decade, with only Islam, Hinduism, and “other religions” being the exceptions to the rule.   As Breitbart News has reported, the hardest hit religious group is Christianity—especially mainline Christianity [More]
Nearly every time we raise money for persecuted believers in closed countries, Open Doors receives an email or social media post asking one question: Are there really underground churches in the most hostile regions of the world?   It’s a fair question. When the average American encounters headlines about places like North Korea, they often reveal tragic stories about defectors or hunger issues. Given the control that leaders like Kim Jong-Un have over religious practice in these societies, it’s understandably hard to imagine how Christian churches could operate.   And yet they do.   Read More: Are There REALLY Christians in Places Like North [More]
Two sisters stand firm in their faith when those they loved the most became their persecutors   In Laos, as in many persecuted countries, Christian persecution often comes from the family when they discover a family member has turned from their family’s religion. In this article, we meet 17-year-old Nani* and sixteen-year-old Nha Phong* who received Christ in Laos, where Buddhism, animism, and communism live side by side, and room for Christianity is tight. The sisters met with some of our Open Doors representatives in a church, traveling for a day to be far away from their remote village where [More]
Throughout the world, 2017 was a difficult, yet also hopeful, year for the persecuted church. We wept with our brothers and sisters in Egypt on Palm Sunday (over the past year, more than 130 Christians were killed in Egypt, including the Dec. 29 attack). We felt both anger and compassion as we learned that Nigerian Christian refugees were being denied food in relief camps—and then in response sent tremendous aid. We rejoiced with believers when ISIS’ reign of terror ended in Iraq and Syria and also joined in their despair as they returned to their bombed-out villages and homes.   [More]
I’ve heard many people, especially Jehovah’s Witnesses, say that the Bible does not teach that Jesus is God. In response to that claim, I took a deep dive into Scripture, particularly the New Testament, to see how much evidence there really is for the deity of Jesus. What I found was astounding. There is overwhelming evidence that the NT authors intended to present Jesus as God come in the flesh. In this “article,” I’m providing a resource for you to use next time someone challenges you on this issue.   I go through the books or sections of the New [More]
Celebrating Christmas in Saudi Arabia… Is that possible? Officially it is not, but in the deepest secret Christians working and living there manage to celebrate Christ coming to this world. Earlier this month, Open Doors workers managed to visit a group of Indian believers in Saudi for their annual Christmas service. Celebrate with them and stand with them this Christmas through your prayers.   It’s night in one of Saudi Arabia’s cities. The streets are empty. Two Indian men can be seen walking on the sidewalk. When they knock on a nondescript door, it is opened and immediately closed behind [More]
A new Pew Research Center survey has found a majority of U.S. adults believe the religious parts of Christmas are emphasized less now than in the past – and yet, many people are not bothered by this perceived development. According to the survey, 56 percent of Americans believe American society in general emphasizes the religious aspects…
“They will take my land … because I believe in my God.”   In Vietnam, more than a million people are part of the Hmong  group. Over the last 30 years, increasing numbers of Hmong have converted to Christianity from the group’s traditional religion of animism (belief in the spirit world and the interconnectedness of all living things). As this report from our partners in the field shows, turning from animism to believe in Christ and share His gospel can come at great cost.    When Thao*, his son and daughter-in-law became Christians in 2016, his younger brother reported them [More]
Where these children live, it takes more than a village—it takes the entire Body of Christ.   When stories of persecution emerge from dangerous regions, they often focus on the experience of adults. Perhaps this is because it’s too difficult to wrestle with the image of children being targeted because of their faith. How can any peaceable citizen fully grasp the ideological madness behind ISIS or Boko Haram or other Islamic extremist groups? Imagine how difficult it is for children who don’t yet understand the political context of their region to make sense of such actions. Why would a stranger—someone [More]
“Excellent article.”  Admin   If we truly get what prayer is–and what it does–we’ll realize it’s one of the most powerful weapons for change we have in our arsenal.   A recent Netflix show I was watching spent an entire episode mocking the “thoughts and prayers” response that public officials often give in response to tragedies. To be honest, I’m sympathetic to the show’s perspective. Often, I find myself thinking that the “thoughts and prayers” response seems like a platitude, just a socially polite way of saying, “I’m sorry this happened, but I’m not going to do anything about it.” [More]
I woke up feeling sorry for myself. I was tired of hobbling around with a cast on my leg. I’d broken my ankle on a family outing in the country, and now autumn had rushed in overnight. The house was downright chilly. “Brrr,” I shivered. “This would be a good soup day.”   I craved the comfort of a homemade soup. You can’t get that from a can. But my refrigerator didn’t have much to offer, and a trip to the store seemed like too much effort. Still, all day I couldn’t get that soup idea out of my head. [More]
Another Thanksgiving without Mom, I thought, picking halfheartedly at my turkey and stuffing. This was a particularly hard holiday since Mom’s death because food and family were her hallmarks.   Mom worked as a short-order cook at the old H.L. Green drugstore in downtown San Antonio. I would grab a seat on one of the big swivel stools, and no matter how busy Mom was behind the counter she’d always stop to hug her “babies” and fix us a grilled cheese or a thick milk shake. Always there with a kiss or a kind word or some little treat to [More]
North Korea, Somalia and Afghanistan are the worst countries to openly follow the teachings of the Bible, according to the study by Open Doors.   North Korea has been branded the most dangerous country in the world for Christians since 2002.   The Christian charity found the global level of Christian persecution has risen for the fourth year in a row, with Asian countries showing a particularly rapid rise.   The study found Islamic extremism was responsible for increased hostility in 14 of the top 20 counties on its list.   And the research discovered followers of Jesus living in [More]
These persecuted Christians are likely the future of Christianity. How can you encourage and support them as they persevere and grow in their faith?   For Abbas*, a Christian in Somalia, decisions about his faith have become life-altering. Abbas’ family members and society are out to punish him for abandoning his Islamic faith. Abbas is part of a group we often call “Muslim-background believers” or MBBs (people like Abbas who were raised Muslims and have converted from Islam to Christianity). MBB’s are growing rapidly, in some places explosively, throughout the world.    Becoming a Christian in the Muslim world is a [More]
Bao gets the Word of God into the hands and hearts of children and adults.   In Vietnam (#17 on the World Watch List), getting Bibles to people isn’t easy. Converts to Christianity from Buddhist or ethnic-animist backgrounds face increasing persecution. For the last two years, Bao, a 33-year-old believer in Ho Chi Minh City, has served as a partner with Open Doors’ Children’s Bible Project in Vietnam. Here, he shares how his faith has led him into the high-risk adventure of distributing God’s Word.   Meet Bao, a 33-year-old father of two—and a Bible smuggler.   In the last [More]
What do new trends mean for religious persecution?   Christianity in China (#39 on the World Watch List) has always lived in tension. Though the Communist Party of China has habitually restricted the freedom of Christians to worship over the last 70 years, the skyrocketing growth of the Chinese church is impossible to miss. Even non-Christian observers have taken notice, with many outlets putting the true number of Christians at tens of millions more than the Chinese government officially recognizes.   The official government line is that freedom of religion is guaranteed in the Chinese constitution. And technically, that’s true—but [More]
Vietnam ranks #17 on the 2017 World Watch List, climbing from #20 in 2016, due to an increased level of violence and pressure spread across all spheres of life. Northern provinces, including evangelist Vang Atu’s*, are reported to have more persecution incidents against Christians. Vang Atu, a persecuted believer from the Hmong tribe, experienced the wrath of his community firsthand, including losing his family home, but that didn’t stop him from being bold in his beliefs.   “Pray with me that one day, I’ll be able to go back to my hometown and testify to the people about my faith [More]
Women who turn to Christ in this Islam-dominant country often endure abuse from their husbands and family. Zara* prayed to receive Christ and began to secretly attend Sunday services at a local church. Her joy in her newfound faith was quickly challenged. Upon finding her hidden Bible, Zara’s husband began to beat her. His anger was compounded because he discovered it in the middle of Ramadan. Read More: Believers in Tajikistan Risk Their Lives to Share the Gospel – Open Doors USA
The future of America is an uncertain one. That old crafty serpent, the devil, has slithered his way into the core of our culture and is busy eroding the moral values that once made our nation great. America is no longer great because she is no longer good.   A nation that outlaws the mention of God in the public square, celebrates the killing of its own children and destroys the most basic unit of society, the family, cannot survive much longer. I’m afraid that unless there is major heartfelt repentance and the glory of God is restored to the [More]
Retirement was supposed to be relaxing, but just a few months after I’d left my teaching job I found myself rushing around. It was our last day at home before my husband, Larry, and I took the three-hour trip to our summer place on Lake Roosevelt. And summer was certainly in full swing.   Today the temperature hit 100 degrees. But Larry and I had a lot to take care of before we could get going. I grabbed the keys to my Subaru Outback.   “You take the truck to run your last-minute errands,” I said. “I’m headed to the [More]