Archive

  • Write to: Believers in the Middle East

    Thousands of believers from countries across the Middle East, including Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Egypt, have signed up to receive daily messages from Christians around the world – and you can write to them!

    Open Doors has launched a Hope for the Middle East encouragement app. Email us a short message (to inspire@opendoorsuk.org) – maybe with a picture or a 15 second video – and we will pass it on to persecuted Christians who will be able to access your messages via their phones and tablets.

    Already, the app is being well received by Christians in the Middle East. One believer wrote: “May the Lord bless you, I’m very happy with this app. I hope we can encourage each other in reading the gospel. May the Lord repay you for your efforts…” Another said: “Thank you for this valuable devotion. May the Lord bless you and us as well, now and ever and to our last breath.”

    Guidelines

    • If you can, please upload with your message a good-quality photo OR short videoOR audio clip – as the Middle Eastern culture is very visual and audio based, messages containing media are easier to share on the app and are viewed by more people.
    • Write a short message up to 500 characters without a picture, or 100 characters with a picture (including spaces).
    • You could include an encouraging Bible verse.
    • If you are willing, you can state your first name, age, profession, and/or country. Be aware that this information will then become public on the internet and may be shared on social media by believers in the Middle East. Do not include your full name or full address.
    • Provide a picture so that more people view it, eg a Bible verse, a group of you praying, a picture of a cross, you waving at the camera, nature. etc.
    • As believers in the Middle East are facing struggles, you could talk about how you deal with personal (spiritual) struggles – is there a special prayer that helps you?

    You must email your message to inspire@opendoorsuk.org only. We cannot pass on hardcopy messages.

    Technical things

    • Make sure pictures and videos are in the landscape orientation (and copyright free!)
    • Try to send pictures that are at least 700 pixels wide, but not more than 1080
    • If the pictures contain posters or text, please make sure that they are legible
    • Leave enough space on your video, or if you have text in your picture, for an Arabic translation (roughly, your text should not take up more than 20 per cent of the image)
    • When creating a video, include a short description, make sure that it is under 15 seconds in length and no larger than 1GB.
    • Do not create a complicated video with music and moving text, because the video will be translated into Arabic. Simply send the text you want to include in the video (in mov, mp4, m4v, wmv and flv formats only, between 400-1000 kbps) and any specific instructions – like when/where you want the text to appear. The aspect ratio must be either 4:3 or 16:9
    • You could record an mp3 song snippet and/or include a message up to 30 seconds in length.

    Struggling with what to say?

    Below are some ideas of messages you could send.

    Keep the faith brothers and sisters. We fight the good fight. You are loved deeply by the Almighty.

    Be strong, brothers and sisters. My husband, David, myself, Anna, and my two daughters, Hannah (aged 9) and Lucy (aged 5) are praying for you. Your faith is an inspiration to us all. We are telling our friends in the church about what you are going through. We are praying for you. God bless!

    On behalf of Your family, God, we are praying for the safety of all our persecuted family. We pray for their protection. Lord, let Your love fill them once again specially for those who are about to give up. Lord, let them see the hope again in You, that You are always there for them. Lord, we are lifting our family to You. Guide them protect them, and let Your most precious and holy blood cover them. Amen.

    Send to us!

    This campaign is online only. Please email your message to inspire@opendoorsuk.org

    And we’ll do the rest!

  • Write to: Children in Central Asia

    Do you know someone who is deaf? If so, you’re likely aware of the challenges that this can bring. Thankfully, there is often a lot of support from the societies in which we live to help those who are deaf.

    But in parts of Central Asia, this is not always the case, because being deaf carries a stigma that brings isolation and rejection, including trouble finding work. This adds to their suffering. In fact, some interpretations of Islam believe that deaf people cannot go to heaven.

    Amazingly, the deaf community are among the fastest growing group of believers in Central Asia, helped by a centre run by Open Doors local partners who show deaf people how treasured they are by God. This includes training in skills such as computing, make-up and how to repair mobile phones, as well as support for children, including road safety help because of the dangers facing deaf people near roads.

    The centre also provides support to withstand persecution, because those who come to know Jesus from a Muslim background can face hostility from their families and communities.

    We’d love to particularly encourage the young people who attend this centre by inviting you to write to them! They’d love to hear from you and be reminded that, amidst the rejection they can face because of their deafness and faith, their global church family is thinking about and praying for them.

    Guidelines

    • Greeting cards, children’s artwork and postcards are best
    • Use simple English and keep your letter brief and without too much text (some of the children can’t yet read English)
    • Print clearly
    • Be encouraging and include one or two Bible verses
    • Show sensitivity; please don’t dwell on the recipient’s plight, or share about the blessings of life in your country.

    For security

    • Do not mention Open Doors in your letters
    • If writing a postcard, please send it in an envelope and do not write the Open Doors’ address on the postcard
    • You may provide your name, but do not provide your full name or address
    • Do not criticise a region’s religion or religious extremists, its government, judicial system, or political leaders
    • Do not send money or make proposals to help.

    Send to us!

    This campaign is postal only. Please send your physical drawings, cards or letters to us at the below address:

    PO Box 6
    Witney
    Oxon
    OX29 6WG

    And we’ll do the rest!

    Please note this campaign ends 31 December 2023. Since we are restricted in the amount of letters we can send to the centre, we may have to close the campaign early.

  • Free prayer resources

    Free resources for 2023

    New to praying for Christians in other parts of the world? It can sometimes be hard to know what to pray, or even where to start. But don’t worry – we can help!

    Fill out the form below to pre-order some quality free resources, including:

    • Our Open Doors Youth World Watch List 2023 interactive map that comes with a series of engaging prayer ideas to help you pray for Christians who are risking it all for Jesus. The map folds out to be an A3 poster and includes an incredible story of brave faith, prayer points facts and more.
    • The downloadable World Watch List 2023 youth session outline will help you explore the places where following Jesus costs the most with a youth group / small group. If you’re running a session with a youth group do also order a few of the youth maps as you’ll need these as part of the session.

    Fill out the form and we’ll post/email out the resources to you.

    You can also use this form to opt in to receiving our prayer and action emails (sent once a month) and our Cost magazine mailing (sent in the post twice a year). You can unsubscribe from these at any time by following the links in the email or emailing us directly. We won’t call you asking for money and will never pass on your details to anyone else. You can also read the full GDPR compliant Open Doors privacy policy on the main Open Doors site here….

    • 1. PRE-ORDER World Watch List 2023 Map
      A new interactive prayer map with updated World Watch List and loads of ways to actively pray for the persecuted church. Will be sent out by mid February 2023.

    • 2. PRE-ORDER: World Watch List 2023 Youth Session Outline
      A downloadable intro session to persecution and the 2023 World Watch List. Will be emailed out by mid February 2023.

    • Please also send me...

    • Your details...

    • Sorry - we can only send resources to UK residents. You can download our resources below if you're from outside the UK.
    • DD slash MM slash YYYY
    • Under 13?
      If you are under 13 we can't send you regular communications. You can email us at youth@opendoorsuk.org to request any resources though!

    • Name of your church (if you have one)

    • Are you a youth leader?

    • If you have any issues submitting the form, please don't give up - just email us at youth@opendoorsuk.org with your name, address and date of birth and we'll email you the downloads. Thanks.
  • Write to: Children in Colombia

    “I felt that I had no freedom where I lived,” shares 15-year-old Valentina from Cauca in Colombia. “I used to say, ‘My God, I want to get out of here. I don’t even know where I want to go, but I want to leave.’”

    The reason for this is persecution. At school, Valentina was pressurised into performing indigenous rites, while in society, she was acutely vulnerable to recruitment into guerrilla groups who often target prominent Christians (her father is a church leader).

    Because of these dangers, her parents sent her to the Children’s Centre run by Open Doors local partners. “Thank God there was an open door at the Children’s Centre,” share her parents, while Valentina adds: “I don’t know if my life would exist if I still lived in Cauca, or if I’d be lost.”

    As well as providing a safe haven for Valentina, the Children’s Centre is also helping Valentina develop in her studies and grow in her faith. “I know that, in the middle of persecution, God is faithful and merciful,” she says. “He is the best because He takes care of us. It’s Jesus who unites us and means we can enjoy peace and hope.”

    Read beautiful Christmas letters written to you from young people at the Children’s Centre in Colombia
    This Christmas, Valentina will return to spend it with her family. “For me, the best Christmas is when I’m with my family,” she says. But she won’t be able to stay beyond Christmas, because it’s too dangerous.

    You can write to Valentina to encourage her in her faith, and other Christians in children who are also vulnerable to persecution for their faith, be that from indigenous groups or criminal gangs. They’d love to hear from you!

    There are two ways you can write to Christian children in Colombia:

    Get your church to write one large card

    Our Christmas resources includes a large fold-out card for your church to write to children at the Children’s Centre.

    Write an individual letter

    You can also write to specific children at the Children’s Centre and elsewhere in Colombia…

    • Valentina
    • Keiner (15), Sneiker (13) and Rubén (9), whose father was shot dead earlier this year, having served as pastor in an area rife with criminal activity. You can also write to their mother, Yaneth
    • Daniela (14) and Sebastián (7), whose father was shot dead for speaking out against criminal activities and helping prevent young people from recruitment to gangs
    • Specific individuals at the Colombia Children’s Centre (visit here for a list of names)
    • Children living in the following regions: Nariño, Tumaco, Arauca, Chocó, Catatumbo, Buenaventura, Córdoba and Cauca (for these, introduce the letter by saying, Dear child from )

    Please note: Please write in simple English or in Spanish. You can find a list of Spanish phrases here.

    Guidelines

    • Greeting cards, postcards and children’s artwork are best
    • Be encouraging and include one or two Bible verses. For security reasons, please do not use verses that refer to Israel, armies, or war
    • Show sensitivity. Please do not dwell on the recipient’s plight, or share about the blessings of life in your country.

    For security

    • Do not mention Open Doors
    • Do not mention other religions
    • Do not refer to Israel, even when using Scripture
    • Do not criticise religions, religious extremists, governments, judicial systems or political leaders
    • Do not send money or make proposals to help
    • You can disclose your name and the country you live in, but do not provide your full name or full address.

    Send to us!

    This campaign is postal and digital. Please send your physical drawings, cards or letters to us at the below address, and your digital encouragements to messagestocolombia@opendoorsuk.org

    PO Box 6
    Witney
    Oxon
    OX29 6WG

    And we’ll do the rest!

    Please note this campaign ends 31 December 2022

  • World Cup Fantasy League!

    Would you believe it? The World Cup is here!

    Now, we know football isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and we also know that playing a tournament in a country with a very poor human rights record raises some major questions. But we also know that there are seven countries playing in the World Cup that are on the current Open Doors World Watch List. That’s seven countries, including the host nation Qatar, where Christians face persecution. And that gives us all an opportunity to pray, speak out and raise support for our church family in these places.

    We’ve created some great resources to help you pray, including our World Cup Prayer Wall Chart (download a version you can print at home here…) and created a bunch of fundraising ideas too. But you can also get involved in our World Cup Fantasy League!

    We know some of you will love pouring over the player stats and building the best possible team, so why not join our league and pit your selections against loads of others who will also be praying for Christians in the seven countries at the World Cup on the World Watch List? And, as a special bonus, there will also be an incredible special prize for the league winner too!

    The prize

    You can win a free ticket to one of the following 2023 events of your choice: Dreaming the Impossible, Limitless, Luminosity, Satellites, Summer Madness, Magnitude or the National Youth Ministry Weekend. That’s pretty good, right?

    How to enter

    So, what are you waiting for? Just click this link to join:
    https://play.fifa.com/fantasy-classic/join-league/IXV3M6JH

    Any questions or issues joining, drop us a line at youth@opendoorsuk.org

  • ‘Words of peace’ session plan

    Words of Peace Christmas session outline

    Make sure you get your hands on our new 45-minute Christmas-themed session plan with games, video, Bible discussion and inspiring stories from young Christians facing persecution for their faith in Jesus.

    Help your group see how young Christians around the world are seeking peace this Christmas and encourage them to send their own words of peace to raise brave faith in them and in teenagers facing persecution.

    Download the session now using the form on this page!

    • Download the Words of Peace session outline now...

    • Fill out your details below to get an instant download of our free 'Words of Peace' Christmas session outline, perfect for use with youth or small groups.

      You can also use this form to sign up for regular email or postal mailings from us - we will only do this if you opt in, otherwise, we won't contact you, except to send you a link to the session via email. If you have any issues submitting the form, just email us at youth@opendoorsuk.org and we'll get back to you asap

    • Your details...

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    • DD slash MM slash YYYY
    • Are you a youth leader?

  • Brave Faith Nights

    Brave Faith Nights

    Join us for an inspiring evening of learning more about the brave faith of our persecuted family!

    We’re going to be heading around the UK to share some incredible stories of brave faith from Christian young people living in places where following Jesus really costs. The evenings will feature time to worship, pray, hear from God’s Word and some fun and brave challenges too!

    As part of the evenings you’ll have the chance to get our Brave Faith journal, a free resource that will connect you to your persecuted church family and help you take steps to be braver in your walk with Jesus too. Check out the video below to find out more about the journal…

    We’d love you to join us, so scan the dates and head to a venue near you – more venues are being added too!

    The nights are being hosted by different churches or existing events, but they will be open to all. You don’t have to be part of the church to attend – they nights are open to everybody, so come along. Any questions, do drop us a line…

    Brave Faith Nights: The dates!

    Here’s where we’ll be sharing some incredible and inspiring stories of brave faith. Check the dates and come along.

    3 February: Bedworth
    7.30pm-9pm / New Life Church, Legacy Youth

    24 February: Corsham
    7pm-9pm / Corsham Baptist Church

    18 March: Chineham
    7.30pm-9pm / Christ Church, B:United

    More dates and details being confirmed…

    Previous nights: All Saints, Eaglescliff / St. Aldates, Oxford / Festival Church, Chester / St John’s, Blackheath / Cardiff, Vineyard / Rediscover Church, Exeter / Highfield Church, Southampton / Cornerstone Baptist Church, Leeds / Woodlands Church, Bristol…

  • Write to: Charity in Nigeria

    Charity and her three children from Nigeria were getting ready for bed when her brother ran into the home with an urgent warning: “Put out the light! Put out the light!”

    Charity grabbed her youngest daughter, Patience, and quickly placed her on her back in a wrap. “We ran away towards the mountains,” Charity says. In the scramble, Charity got separated from her other two children, Theophilus and Elizabeth.

    On her way back to the village the following day, Charity heard that Boko Haram had killed some of her family members in the attack. She was devastated; all she could think about was her missing children.

    After a week without news, Charity was alone in her mother’s house when she heard her son calling out her name. When she looked out her front door, she saw Theophilus and Elizabeth walking toward her. “I was so shocked and excited as I shouted their names!” Charity recalls. “Seeing my children felt like a new dawn – everything changed because my lost children were back.”

    When Open Doors heard about the attack, local partners in the field rushed into action to help provide emergency aid, food relief and support to rebuild, thanks to your prayers and gifts. They were also able to deliver vital trauma counselling to Charity and her family.

    “Your coming helped us a lot,” Charity says.

    You can further help Charity and her family by writing to them – they’d love to hear from you!

    Writing guidelines

    • Greeting cards, postcards and children’s artwork are best
    • Be encouraging and include one or two Bible verses. For security reasons, please do not use verses that refer to Israel, armies, or war
    • Show sensitivity. Please do not dwell on the recipient’s plight, or share about the blessings of life in your country.

    For security

    • Do not mention Open Doors
    • Do not mention other religions
    • Do not refer to Israel, even when using Scripture
    • Do not criticise religions, religious extremists, governments, judicial systems or political leaders
    • Do not send money or make proposals to help
    • You can disclose your name and the country you live in, but do not provide your full name or full address.

    Send to us!

    Send your drawings, cards or letters to us at:

    PO Box 6,
    Witney,
    Oxon,
    OX29 6WG

    And we’ll do the rest!

    Please note this campaign ends on 15 June 2022

  • Write to: Pastor Andrew in Nigeria

    It was 2014 and Pastor Andrew was serving a church in Monguno, north east Nigeria, when Boko Haram attacked his community, forcing him and his family to flee.

    The family ended up in Guyaku, where Pastor Andrew began serving a new church who he warned should prepare for a possible attack by Boko Haram. He even began teaching them how to deal with persecution. But people felt his concerns were unfounded, given how peaceably people lived with one another.

    In February 2015, the pastor’s worst fears were realised when Boko Haram militants attacked the town. “We lost everything,” Pastor Andrew recalls. At the time, he felt the church would never recover.

    The pastor and his leadership team later returned and encouraged other Christians to return and rebuild their homes and church. The message was heeded, with members returning and each donating money to fund the church’s restoration. Open Doors also contributed to this.

    Remarkably, the church is now bigger than it was prior to the attack – there were 300 members beforehand, now there are more than 450. The faith of the believers has also grown stronger. Pastor Andrew – who has received other support from Open Doors, including trauma care and advocacy training – now leads a different church, but he often revisits the church in Guyaku.

    Pastors in Nigeria carry a huge weight of responsibility – not just in helping believers to grow spiritually amid persecution but in the pastoral care they provide for those traumatised by attacks. Pastor Andrew needs nourishing as he seeks to nourish others, and you can do just that by writing to him.

    Writing guidelines

    • Greeting cards, postcards and children’s artwork are best
    • Be encouraging and include one or two Bible verses. For security reasons, please do not use verses that refer to Israel, armies, or war
    • Show sensitivity. Please do not dwell on the recipient’s plight, or share about the blessings of life in your country.

    For security

    • Do not mention Open Doors
    • Do not mention other religions
    • Do not refer to Israel, even when using Scripture
    • Do not criticise religions, religious extremists, governments, judicial systems or political leaders
    • Do not send money or make proposals to help
    • You can disclose your name and the country you live in, but do not provide your full name or full address.

    Send to us!

    Send your drawings, cards or letters to us at:

    PO Box 6,
    Witney,
    Oxon,
    OX29 6WG

    And we’ll do the rest!

    Please note this campaign ends on 15 December 2022

  • We support people who are beaten, tortured,
    imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.