The Full Story
In 1955 a young Dutch missionary discovered that Christians behind the Iron Curtain desperately needed the Word of God.
Brother Andrew (as he would later be known) distributed a suitcase full of Christian literature behind the Iron Curtain, marking the humble beginnings of Open Doors with Brother Andrew.
In the late 1960s Brother Andrew became known as 'God's Smuggler' after the title of his best-selling biography.
This book had a tremendous impact on many Christians in the West who, for the first time, read about the pain and deprivation of their brothers and sisters living in restricted countries.
Now available in 27 languages, God's Smuggler has helped to redefine the boundaries of modern missionary endeavour and has aroused millions to an awareness of the suffering church in areas of limited access.
Brother Andrew's one-man operation quickly grew into a worldwide ministry.
The work of Open Doors broadened to taking Bibles into China, Vietnam and later Africa and the Muslim World, and organising training seminars and practical aid for suffering Christians.
Under Brother Andrew's leadership Open Doors has gone where most Western Christians dare not go.
His underground network of indigenous Christians has aided in the secret distribution of millions of Bibles each year worldwide.
Open Doors has trained thousands of pastors and church leaders and provided spiritual and legal support for Christian prisoners.
We have also provided economic relief for their families and the families of martyrs.
Spiritual training and practical help
We have conducted Bible-based literacy classes and established discipleship training and vocational training in some of the most dangerous countries in the world.
In the early 1980s, Open Doors began to help persecuted Christians in Latin America as well.
In 1997, Brother Andrew received the World Evangelical Fellowship's Religious Liberty Award, recognising his service to the persecuted church.
The challenge of Islam
Still travelling extensively, Brother Andrew feels passionately that the rapid spread of Islam could be by far the greatest challenge that he and Open Doors have yet faced.
His ministry has taken him into regular meetings with Yasser Arafat and with leaders of the Hamas and Hezbollah, and also with various armed groups in Latin America.
He has also broken down denominational barriers by preaching in Catholic and Coptic Orthodox churches.
Currently in his 80s, Brother Andrew and his wife, Corrie, live in Holland and have 5 children and 4 grandchildren.
Today Open Doors has many co-workers in over 50 high-risk countries.
As persecution increases, Open Doors will continue to go where faith costs the most, to equip and encourage Christians who are suffering for their faith.