Archive

  • Last in Line

    COVID-19 particularly impacts the most vulnerable. Right now, across the world, persecuted Christians – already poor, marginalised, threatened and discriminated against – have a new vulnerability: finding they are the last in line as the pandemic strikes.

    Christians are facing discrimination in the distribution of aid; Christian nurses have been given COVID-19 patients and denied PPE; religious minorities are being blamed for the pandemic and extremists are exploiting vulnerable Christians in lockdown.

    So what can you do?

    There’s four things you can do now to help.

    1. Email your MP. Ensure that the UK Government implements mechanisms that protect persecuted Christians on the frontline by emailing your MP using this simple form. It’ll only take a minute and will automatically find your MP and email them for you. Do it to ask those in power to speak up on behalf of vulnerable Christians around the world who are last in line.
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    2. Give or raise money to help. You can give now or sign up to do an awesome fundraising challenge to help get vital aid to Christians who are last in line. Every £14 could mean a Rapid Response team can courageously bring emergency aid to a persecuted believer.

    3. Share what is happening. Post this infographic on your social feeds and share with friends and followers that in many places around he world, Christians are last in line. Use the #thelastinline and tag us (@opendoorsyouth).

    4. Share an image of a cross and an empty plate on social media (like the one below). Take a photo of you holding an empty plate and wearing a cross to highlight that Christians are last in line (you don’t have to add text to the image). Your images (if public) will be shared with the UK Government to show the scale of support for our persecuted photo. Share your photo, tagging @OpenDoorsyouth, your MP and #TheLastInLine

  • Explore

    Learn more about the places where Christians face the worst persecution. Discover what that means, read inspiring stories of brave faith and get prayer points to help bring about change…

  • Write

    Use the power of post and write to a persecuted Christian to let them know you are standing with them and are praying with them…

  • Secret Church: What now?

    Congratulations! You’ve taken part in a Secret Church service.

    But now what?

    Here are four ways to deepen your connection with the secret church around the world.

    1. Keep connecting

    One of the things which encourages secret believers is knowing that they are not alone and that others are praying for them.

    “We try to stay in touch, and we stay connected through WhatsApp,” says pastor George Moushi in Syria. “We have devotions and we praise and worship together.
    Everyone prays and shares their thoughts and feelings. At the same time, we share our prayer requests with each other and exchange the latest news.”

    You, too, can keep connected with the persecuted church.

    Receive regular email updates from Open Doors Youth.. fill out the form below…

    News Sign Up Form

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    2. Keep supporting

    Without our help, secret Christians will be even more isolated, even more alone. But as a global family we need to continue to pray and support them.

    This picture shows a secret baptism which took place in Central Asia. All the twelve new believers became Christians through receiving digital Bibles and other media. Could you raise money or give to support your persecuted church family?

    • Every £10 could mean five people are reached by the church through social media
    • Every £19 could provide vital Bibles for 15 believers from a Muslim background


    3. Keep learning

    Keep reflecting on the experience. Whilst we know that the lockdown is temporary for us in the UK, we can use it to learn more about the courageous faith of those for whom isolation is an everyday fact of life.

    Mojtaba from Iran was imprisoned for leading a secret house church. In this video, he shares how God used his imprisonment to share the gospel with the least and the lost.

    Think:

    • Are there any elements of the secret church experience you’d like to repeat? Why?
    • Do you think the experience will affect or change the way you worship, pray and read the Bible?
    • How will the example of the persecuted church affect how you live out your own faith?

    Remember:

    • Did you manage to memorise the verses that you wrote down? Can you recite them?
    • What stuck with you from the secret church experience?
    • What story or stories do you remember?

    Explore:

    • Do you know of any other ways that secret believers from around the world meet?

    4. Keep Sharing

    Spread the word. Let others know about your Secret Church experience.
    Could you share a Secret church service with others? Maybe lead one for your friends, church, cell or home group?

    This is how the Secret Church grows around the world: it starts with one group meeting in one house, then the news spreads, more groups appear.

    And the Kingdom of God carries on multiplying and growing, right under the noses of those who think that they have it under control…

  • Secret Church: Online Edition

    How can you be church, when you have no building?
    How do you worship, when you have to be silent?
    How can you learn from God’s Word, when you can’t get a Bible?
    How do you pray with others, when religious meetings are banned?

    In the UK, we’ve not been able to meet in church buildings and it’s been illegal to gather in large numbers. But, for millions of Christians across the world, that’s what life is like all the time. In many countries, Christians have never entered a physical church building. They have never experienced the buzz of worshipping with hundreds of others, or even sung to God in anything above a whisper.

    They are the secret church, and wherever they meet – they find Jesus there. And that’s what we can learn from them: that socially distancing and months of lockdown doesn’t mean we are alone, that even though we are separated, we can still be the Church.

    Download our free special online edition Secret Church resource to run a group session via video chat and experience how secret Christians gather to worship, pray, share and learn from God’s Word.

    Secret Church: Online Edition


    Our new Secret Church resource explores some of the ways isolated, hidden and secret Christians do church. We’ve taken ideas and approaches from underground church meetings all around the world, and translated them into a simple session outline for you to use with your youth group or small group.

    The session involves multiple activities and stories, all of which have been designed to work on a video chat service like Zoom or Skype. The session should last around 60 minutes, but each element could be used as a stand-alone activity for a shorter session.

    Included are ideas on how to:

    • Worship with a secret North Korean Christians
    • Read the Bible with Eritrean Christians in prison
    • Pray with persecuted and threatened believers in Pakistan
    • Share and encourage one another like the underground church in China
    • And loads more too…

    Download now…

    Fill out the form below (mobile) or on the right (desktop) to get instant access to a downloadable guide, video and images from the Secret Church. You can also use the form to opt into receiving our monthly emails and our postal mailings (about three times a year), but no pressure!

    Get your free Secret Church resource!

    Secret Church

    Nishan's secret

    Nishan is from Mogadishu in Somalia. He has a secret he's prepared to risk his life for...

    The secret reality

    “On our arrival the men approached us one by one and welcomed us with huge smiles and handshakes, often followed by big hugs. We could smell the sweat on them and knew many hadn’t bathed in days…

    There was no electricity in the house where we assembled, and blankets covered the windows to prevent unwanted observation. Apart from a little sunlight leaking at the edges of the window coverings, candles provided the only light. For the next few hours we were transported into a world few have experienced…“

    Brother Andrew, the founder of Open Doors, attends a Secret Church meeting in Afghanistan

    The Problem

    Pasha's story

    Pasha is a secret Christian in Iran who had an amazing dream where he met Jesus!
  • Isolated Church: Week Nine – Summary

    Week nine: Summary…

    “In Laos there are two seasons: sunny and rainy. Robust trees thrive in both seasons. Our church is the same as a robust tree. It thrives in the sun and it thrives in the rain, and more importantly, it gives shade to others – whether it be from the heat or from the downpour.”
    Pastor Dok – Laos

    Thank you for being one of hundreds of people who has used our Isolated Church reflections and videos. As lockdown restrictions begin to be eased, we’re no longer releasing new devotions every week, but we’re still regularly posting up resources, articles, stories and more on the website and on our social feeds, so do keep checking them out.

    We pray that you’ve been challenged to grow with God during the lockdown. We pray that you’ve been moved by the example of persecuted Christians like Pastor Dok and have learnt to thrive in good times and bad.

    Before we go, we’ve created a final summary reflection video and poster you can download below. The poster features some key quotes and lessons from each of the past eight weeks. Download it, print if off and stick it up somewhere to help you remember to keep growing with God, no matter what you face.

    Finally, we’d love your feedback on the Isolated Church series – what did you think? Tell us by filling out the survey below so we can produce even better resources in the future!

    Week Nine: Summary poster download…

    Download this little poster to help you remember some of the key quotes and lessons that we’ve learnt during this Isolated Church series. Print it off and stick it up on your wall to help you stay inspired and challenged by your persecuted family as the lockdown eases.

    Download the Isolated Church summary…

    Download the ‘Isolated Church – Summary’ video reflection…

    What you can do now…

    While the lockdown restrictions are easing for us – where maybe the sense of fear, anxiety, uncertainty and isolation is lifting – please remember that our persecuted family face these emotions on a daily basis – lockdown or not. As you’ll have read and seen, there are many whose choice to follow Jesus brings all kinds of pressures, lack and loss, and we want to continue to stand with them – and we’d love you to join us. Here’s some simple things you can do to stay connected:

    Finally, don’t forget to let us know what you thought of the Isolated Church series. Give us your feedback here:

    That’s it for this week. Thanks for checking out the resource. We hope you’ve found it useful, challenging and inspiring. Let us know what you think and tell us any things you’d like us to cover in future weeks too. Drop us a line at youth@opendoorsuk.org – we’d love to hear from you.

    Want to access other Isolated Church reflections?

    Head to the Isolated Church landing page to download all the reflections we’ve produced so far.

  • Isolated Church: Week Eight – Healing

    Week eight: Healing…

    While we know that the coronavirus crisis is far from over, there is some relief in seeing the restrictions we’ve been facing are beginning to change. And this session on healing, will be the last in our series of reflections.

    Our reflection looks at two incredible stories of healing from the persecuted church and highlights how God calls us into his plans to heal and restore his world. As countries struggle to contain a disease and as we’ve been forced to be distant from each other, we have an incredible opportunity to step up and bring God’s healing love to a broken, confused and hurting world. We pray you’ll be inspired to do just that as you work through the materials!

    So, dig into this week’s material and let us know what you think!

    Before you jump in, we also know that during this global crisis our church family around the world are in need. The difficulties that we are experiencing are being shared by Christians who are really struggling during this outbreak. In India, many Christians come from poorer communities. Being on lock-down means they can’t work, which means no money for rent or food. And this is where we can stand with them, providing what they need whilst restrictions are still in place. Please check out the coronavirus crisis appeal here, take on a fundraising challenge, share the link and help your church family around the world. Thank you!

    Week Eight: Reflection download…

    Download this little devotional for prayers, stories, activities and some Bible stuff to help you lean into God despite the fear and doubt that you may be experiencing through this crisis! Reading through, with some time to stop, think and pray, shouldn’t take no longer than 20 minutes max, but take your time, we want this stuff to sink in for you! This reflection works alongside the video, so you can either stream it or download a copy…

    Download the Isolated Church ‘Healing’ reflection…

    Download the ‘Isolated Church – Healing’ Video reflection…

    Short on time? Only got ten minutes?

    If you haven’t got loads of time or aren’t a big reader, don’t panic, you can still use the materials. Try this:

    • Download the reflection watch the video.
    • Reflect on the questions, then jump to the Bible section.
    • Pray the final prayer. You’ll be done in under 10 minutes.

    Simple.

    Week Eight: Youth leader notes…

    We’ve also adapted the reflection above to give you some ideas and content to use in a virtual youth group setting. Have a look at the notes below to see how you can work through the stories, discussion points, prayers and activities with your group in an online chat. You don’t have to use all the material, see what will work for you.

    Download ‘Isolated Church: Healing’ leader notes…

    If you’d like one of our team to join your youth group via video – we’d love that! We’re often out speaking at Youth Groups and events and would be happy to present a quick thought or devotional to help your group grow through the current crisis. If you’re interested, then drop us a line at youth@opendoorsuk.org…

    That’s it for this week. Thanks for checking out the resource. We hope you’ve found it useful, challenging and inspiring. Let us know what you think and tell us any things you’d like us to cover in future weeks too. Drop us a line at youth@opendoorsuk.org – we’d love to hear from you.

    Want to access other Isolated Church reflections?

    Head to the Isolated Church landing page to download all the reflections we’ve produced so far.

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