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Open Doors News

Nigeria: Christians denied access to vital aid as humanitarian crisis hits sub-Saharan Africa

With millions of people facing starvation and famine in sub-Saharan Africa, your support and prayers are enabling Open Doors to support displaced Christians who have faced discrimination in the distribution of vital aid. Bishop William Naga was forced to flee his home in Gwoza, Nigeria, the city Boko Haram declared the capital of their 'caliphate' (Islamic State) in 2014. He explained, "The governor did his best when the Christians had to flee in 2014 and 2015.

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"The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed"
- Psalm 103:6
 

Nigeria: Displaced twice by Boko Haram, Rebecca now helps over 2,000 widows and orphans

22 March 2017 - A Nigerian woman who has twice been displaced by Boko Haram has started a small NGO to support widows and orphans with support from anti-persecution charity Open Doors.Rebecca Phillip fled her home in Maiduguri, Northern Nigeria in 2009, and then had to flee her home village of Gavva in 2011, to escape Boko Haram violence. She says of the attacks in 2009, "I awoke one night and saw that the streets were brightly lit by the many churches that had been set ablaze. In the weeks that followed, we heard gun shots every night. It felt like war. The following morning I saw corpses on the streets. Read more...

 

Nigeria: 'Running out of food' - supporting believers on the brink

22 March 2017 - While violent persecution inflicted by Boko Haram and Muslim Fulani herdsmen has often made international headlines, persistent social pressure on Christians elsewhere in Nigeria - particularly areas under Sharia (Islamic law) - goes largely unnoticed. But its affects have been devastating.In the remote farming community of Danbango, in the Yauri district of Kebbi, Christians face blatant discrimination and persistent pressure to convert to Islam. Under Sharia government, their faith has cost both livelihoods and lives. Read more...

 

Nigeria: 'Desperation matched by determination' as families return home

17 March 2017 - In Adamawa state, some displaced families have begun to return to their homes as the Nigerian army have pushed back Boko Haram. Returning is difficult, but the support and prayers of people like you have enabled Open Doors workers to provide vital relief aid to 2,000 people in communities in Adamawa state, as well as looking at how to best support these returning families long term. Read more...

 

Malaysia: Kidnapped pastor still missing after one month

16 March 2017 - Since 13 February 2017, Malaysian pastor, Raymond Koh Keng Joo has been missing after being kidnapped by masked men in the city of Petaling Jaya. CCTV footage capturing the incident revealed that the abduction was done professionally - involving at least three people driving black SUVs, two on motorbikes to redirect traffic and one kidnapper who calmly filmed the incident. In order to track down the kidnappers and Pastor Raymond, police have formed a task force to investigate the case, which is believed to have religious connections. Read more...

 

Syria: Bringing hope to children as conflict reaches six years

15 March 2017 - Open Doors local partners are bringing hope to children in Syria as Unicef declares 2016 the deadliest year yet for children caught up in the conflict. The UN estimates that 5.8 million children are in need inside Syria with some 281,000 living under siege and 2.8 million trapped in hard to reach areas. Open Doors is working through partners on the ground to keep hope alive for these children as part of the Open Doors Hope for the Middle East campaign.Donate NowSix years ago this week anti-government protests started within Syria that escalated, resulting in the current conflict. Read more...

 

Nigeria: Christians denied access to vital aid as humanitarian crisis hits sub-Saharan Africa

15 March 2017 - With millions of people facing starvation and famine in sub-Saharan Africa, your support and prayers are enabling Open Doors to support displaced Christians who have faced discrimination in the distribution of vital aid. Bishop William Naga was forced to flee his home in Gwoza, Nigeria, the city Boko Haram declared the capital of their 'caliphate' (Islamic State) in 2014. He explained, "The governor did his best when the Christians had to flee in 2014 and 2015. But when the care of the camps was handed over to other organisations, the discrimination started." Read more...

 

India: Hindu nationalist party makes big gains in elections

14 March 2017 - The Hindu nationalist BJP party has won an overwhelming majority in a key Indian state in recent elections, leading to renewed concern about the rise of Hindu fundamentalism in the country. The Bharatiya Janata Party took control of Uttar Pradesh state winning 225 seats out of a total 403 - the biggest majority seen there since 1980.With a population of more than 222 million people, the northern state is India's most populous. If it were a separate country, it would be the fifth-largest by population in the world. Read more...

 

International Women's Day: On the frontline

07 March 2017 - Women and girls are on the frontline of persecution. In many parts of the world, they already face discrimination because of their gender, and being a Christian only makes this worse. Karen*, an Open Doors trauma care worker in the Middle East, explains: "Women are marginalised in the Middle East and North Africa region, however they have a double vulnerability when they are Christian, and so Christian women are at higher risk of abuse in certain areas. Read more...

 

Six women to be inspired by on International Women's Day

07 March 2017 - On 8 March it's International Women's Day, which gives us a great opportunity to remember our persecuted sisters around the world. Here are six women to be inspired by and pray for on International Women's Day. Read more...

 

Cameroon: Final delivery - over 1,000 letters delivered to Sharifa and family

06 March 2017 - In July 2014, Pastor Jean Marcel Kesvere was abducted and killed by Boko Haram militants who attacked his village in northern Cameroon. His wife, Sharifa*, and their eight children escaped with only the clothes on their backs. Though they were welcomed into a new community, the scale of the family's loss was overwhelming. Open Doors visited them soon afterwards and supplied them with emergency aid and provisions, but it quickly became clear that they needed more than just physical support - so, in November 2014, Open Doors launched a letter-writing campaign to enable Christians worldwide to write to and encourage them. Read more...

 

Sudan: Churches to be demolished; Intelligence service criticised

06 March 2017 - A government order to demolish 27 places of worship included house churches was due to be heard at the Bahri Court of Appeal in Khartoum on 1 March, reports Radio Dabanga.An appeal lodged on 27 February succeeded in delaying the demolition of the churches, located north and east of the Nile, in Soba El Aradi and one in Jebel Awliya in Khartoum.The dispute was initiated when land administrations, as well as the ministry, refused to provide the church's defence lawyers with the removal orders concerning three churches. Read more...

 

East Africa: Planting the seeds of faith

01 March 2017 - It is hard to be a farmer in the Muslim-majority regions of East Africa. It is hard to be a Christian as well. But thanks to the gifts and prayers of longterm Open Doors supporters in the UK and Ireland, including thousands of Secret Child sponsors, many Christians are learning how to support their families, increase their independence and maintain their dignity.In these predominantly rural, subsistence farming communities, Christians struggle with poverty and exclusion. Violence and persecution have left many widows and orphans, and followers of Jesus have to stay under the radar. Read more...

 

Nigeria: Rebecca brings hope and new clothes to displaced widows

01 March 2017 - "I awoke one night and saw that the streets were brightly lit by the many churches that had been set ablaze. In the weeks that followed, we heard gun shots every night. It felt like war. The following morning I saw corpses on the streets."This was Rebecca's terrifying experience in 2009, as Boko Haram attacks began on Maiduguri, the city where she lived in Borno State in the north east corner of Nigeria.Eight years on, while Boko Haram have been pushed back by the Nigerian army in some areas, their attacks on Christians and all who refuse to conform to their radical brand of Islam continue. Read more...

 

Read the March magazine and prayer diary online

28 February 2017 - If you usually get the Open Doors magazine, you may have noticed that your March magazine hasn't arrived yet. We had to change some information at the last minute due to the worsening security situation within the field, which means the magazine is delayed this month. Thanks for your understanding - they're in the post!Until they arrive, you can find the magazine and the March prayer diary here. Read more...

 
"God has called me to stay here and be his witness. I cannot leave the other Christians behind."
- Eun Hee, Christian martyr from North Korea