Secret Church might seem like an exciting way to do church one Sunday, but for Christians around the world this is the only way to meet as followers of Jesus. Read some of the stories below to get your head round the reality and let their commitment to God’s body challenge our often consumerist attitudes to our church attendance.
An Open Doors worker shares:
“The next day we met another young believer. It was such a blessing to see him. Who would ever think that we went there to encourage him? He encouraged us with all God had done in his family. He had finished reading the study New Testament and all I brought him on my last visit. His brother and sister joined him in faith too. He told his parents about his faith, they were quite shocked by his boldness. His father gave him a very hard time and persecuted him. Soon after his younger brother and sister denied their faith but he didn’t…
Instead, he started having a house church meeting in his room with his brother and sister. He didn’t know what to teach them so they started asking Jesus to join them to teach them; they had worship, prayer, reading and discussion together. “It’s a big honour to be persecuted for Jesus as he said in the Bible: we are not here on earth to have rest but to be the light to the world…”
He was 17 years old. We gave him a whole study Bible and other books he had requested. He promised us that he and his small church will pray for us during our other visits
In North Korea Christians meet in small groups in homes or in remote areas like forests and mountain caves. They dare not sing above a whisper for being discovered by police. Nowhere in the world is Christian persecution so fierce. Christians have to hide their faith; Christian parents can’t even share their beliefs with their children until they are old enough to understand the dangers. Owning a Bible could get you killed, or sent to a harsh labour camp. Despite the risks, the church is standing firm: there are an estimated 400,000 believers.
Joshua is 14 years old he lives in Jakarta the capital of Indonesia. This sprawling nation is home to the largest Muslim population in the world. Joshua and his family are very much a minority; they’re followers of Jesus and are completely surrounded by a strongly passionate Islamic neighbourhood.
Joshua and his family do church together in secret, in their home…For fear of their neighbours hearing them sing to Jesus and harming them they worship in silence; but their hearts shout out to praise to God. They often stand and sing something like ‘Amazing Grace’ – each knowing when the song starts and ends. Every so often Joshua and his family take a trip away from their community and meet with other Christians – you can imagine how good the worship times are!
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.