Thank you. Thank you that, despite the incredible challenges of 2020, you have not forgotten your persecuted brothers and sisters. Your prayers and support have continued to strengthen the persecuted church around the world – here’s just a handful of examples of the impact you’re having, and the huge difference you are making for those who are following Jesus, no matter the cost.
Earlier in the year, we shared the incredible story of Eun Hye*, who escaped from North Korea and holds onto her faith regardless of what she faced. When Open Doors partners got in touch with her recently, she said, “I’m so glad you remember me! I’m so grateful for all the people who have prayed for me.”
Your prayers and support have provided vital aid, including food, medicine and clothing for 90,000 secret North Korean believers, through networks in China – thank you. Eun Hye puts things into perspective. “Now I realise that I shall not be in want because God chose me and saved me from the shadow of death so many times in my life.
“I thank you who have been praying for me and my family. I feel much better physically and psychologically. Please pray for the two Koreas and especially North Korean believers who are suffering.”
Abigail*, in Nigeria, was widowed in April when her husband was killed in a raid by militant Fulani herdsmen. That same raid displaced her and her one-year-old daughter to an internally displaced people camp. She wasn’t sure how she and her daughter would survive. But thanks to you, not only has she received vital aid, but she has been able to return home! Open Doors partners have also been able to provide Abigail with farming equipment to help her long-term livelihood.
“I am really happy!” she says. “I usually have sleepless nights thinking where my next meal, and money for fertiliser, would come from. Then God made a way. I received it today!
“My heart is filled with joy! I am grateful to the people God used to provide for me. May He open more doors for them. May God bless them.”
For believers from Muslim backgrounds in North Africa and the Middle East, knowing where to turn to with questions about the Christian faith or discipleship is difficult. Many are asking their questions online – and your prayers and support are enabling Christians like Mariam* to reach them with the answers they’re looking for.
In the spring, together with her team and the support of Open Doors partners, she started a series of daily devotionals addressing different fears related to Covid-19, such as that of losing a loved one or the fear of isolation to help believers understand the situation with a proper theology of the loving God. Mariam says: “We have already been in touch with around a hundred people, having deep conversations, and so far nearly 3,000 people from several Arab countries have subscribed to this series.
“We try to help people discover that God loves them. Yes, it is a big crisis and it is normal to be afraid. But we want to give people hope.”
The coronavirus pandemic has sent shockwaves around the world, and persecuted Christians are amongst the hardest hit by nationwide lockdowns. In India, many church leaders were left on the brink of poverty and starvation.
But, thanks to you, Open Doors partners were able to deliver vital aid and stand with them in prayer. One church leader, Bala*, says, “There is no income from the church, but God has been providing our day-to-day needs. Last week all our groceries were finished and we had no option but to wait for God’s provision. In due time, God has enabled your team to help us. Thank you for providing all the things we need.”
76,000 Christians in India have been provided with coronavirus relief aid thanks to your prayers and support.
The lockdown measures put in place have meant that many persecuted Christians (often already in low-paid and vulnerable jobs) have gone without work and wages. Food has been scarce. But, thanks to you, thousands of Christians around the world have been kept from the brink of starvation and poverty.
Devi* is from Asia, and just one of many thousands who’ve been helped with essential food and aid, thanks to you. He says, “We were in such a bad and hopeless situation, but your team came forward and filled our starving stomachs and empty kitchens. Even now, my relatives do not care about our wellbeing because we have embraced Christian faith. We thank you for your kind help to all of us.”
Thank you so much for making hope visible for our persecuted church family in 2020 – and for persevering with prayers and support as we look towards 2021. This is the body of Christ in action!
*Name changed for security reasons
Dear Father, thank You for standing with Your persecuted children throughout 2020 - mourning with those who mourn, and giving comfort and peace beyond human understanding. Please continue to use the gifts and prayers of Open Doors supporters, and the work of Open Doors partners around the world, to bring hope, help and fellowship to the persecuted church.
You can ask your MP to attend the World Watch List launch on 13 January 2021. It's a crucial opportunity for decision makers to hear first-hand from the persecuted church - you can make a real difference by getting in touch.
Your support helps persecuted Christians continue to courageously follow Jesus.
Together, we can reach those where persecution hits hardest.