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On the Frontline of Faith by Andile Nayika

Category: Open Doors
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While the five government secret police goons made preparations to kill Ugandan Pastor Kefa Sempangi one Easter Sunday, God was orchestrating this to be their day of salvation…

“I do not need to plead my own cause,” Pastor Kefa answered as he was held at gunpoint. “I am a dead man already. My life is dead and hidden in Christ. It is your lives that are in danger; you are dead in your sins. I will pray to God that after you have killed me, He will spare you from eternal destruction.”

Lowering his gun and motioning to the others to do the same, one of the mob asked, “Will you pray for us now?” “Father in heaven,” Pastor Kefa prayed, “You who have forgiven men in the past, forgive these men also. Do not let them perish in their sins but bring them into Yourself.”

If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you... If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you... because they do not know Him who sent Me."  - John 15:18-21

 Billions of Christians around the world are victims of endless persecution because of their faith and they are crying for your help. These innocent children of God get crucified, burnt and some steamrolled to death. Does anyone deserve to suffer such brutality? Who is taking action against these despicable actions? You need to open up your heart and find within you the power of action, the power of will for the help and love for humanity.

 This love was manifested when a young Dutchman Brother Andrew, through God’s calling began to minister to fellow Christians who had been persecuted for their faith in some parts of Eastern Europe where Christianity was becoming increasingly illegal. Despite the fatal risk of getting caught with bibles he persevered and was able to deliver bibles and bible training materials. This saintly act freed fellow Christians and unified them with the Word of God.

This gave birth to Open Doors International and for the past 62 years it has indeed been opening doors and advocating for the liberation of persecuted Christians around the entire world.  Open Doors have planted their roots in over 60 countries making that necessary difference in Christians’ lives. Their hand extends to non-Christians and to persecutors so that they too hear and answer to the word of God. 

“Nowadays, persecution against Christians is stronger than it was in the first centuries of the Church, and there are more Christian martyrs than in that time. Every human is a seeker of truth on his origins and destiny. In the mind and heart, questions and thoughts arise that cannot be repressed or stifled, since they emerge from the depths of the person...”- Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church.

Media reports have confirmed that Christians are the most targeted community in the world. In a recent report about 45 Christians were killed when two Coptic Orthodox churches were bombed in the cities of Alexandria and Tanta in Egypt in April just before Easter Celebrations. This is amidst many stories of extreme brutalisation on Christians in the world, some of which are never reported.

Open Doors have been working closely with persecuted Christians across the globe, going where others do not go, and doing what others do not do. Like the many believers who do not have access to the internet and Christian bookstores in Central Asia whom through the help of Open Doors are now able to read the Bible and other literature.  “Thank you so much for providing our church with Bibles. Without your help we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to give people the most important thing – the Word of God! Your ministry played a tremendous role in our call to reach out to Muslims for Christ.” Pastor Hakeem of the Central Asian Church.

Did you know that:

Afghanistan is situated in a volatile region and has been for centuries. Known Christian converts from Islam face strong pressure from their families, friends and neighbours to recant their Christian faith, as conversion is absolutely unthinkable. Depending on the family, they even have to fear for their lives. Living openly as a Christian is simply not possible and even shops or other businesses have been destroyed just on the mere suspicion that someone might be a Believer from a Muslim Background.
                                                                                                                                                           For full overview, click here to continue >>

You can pray Psalm 23: "Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me."

In North Korea a small number of people gather in the four government-controlled church buildings in Pyongyang. These are used by the regime to show its international visitors that it grants freedom of religion. Whether there are genuine believers among them or not, even they are not free to live out their Christian faith. All genuine believers are facing the highest pressure imaginable from state authorities, but also from non-Christian family, friends and neighbours. Social and state control are at very high levels and Christians need to carefully hide their faith. If they are discovered, it is not only they who are in danger of being put into labour camps, but their families and Christian networks as well.

For full overview, click here to continue >>

You can pray 2 Corinthians 3:17: "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."

Ethiopia has a long history of both Christianity and Islam, and over time, both religions have been engaged in attempts to expand their sphere of influence. Ethiopia also has many tribes. These are not necessarily favourable to Christianity; and in some places like Afar and the Somali regions tribes are interconnected with Islam. The ruling party has blocked all the channels for freedom of expression and assembly, and has also tried to control all religious institutions in a bid to curb dissent. Fanatical groups within the Ethiopian Orthodox Church (EOC) use inflammatory rhetoric against Protestants/Evangelicals in their magazine, website and newspaper, using such expressions as "newcomers", the "false prophet", "menafikan" (deniers of the Virgin Mary and the saints) in portraying them.

For full overview, click here to continue >>

You can pray John 6:35: "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to Me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in Me will never be thirsty."

You can help Open Doors by going to their website and becoming a voluteer, prayer partner, bible giver or you can donate to the cause.

A donation of R75 will put a bible into the hands of someone who is living in a country where the believers of Christ are being persecuted.
Whatsapp or SMS your name to 44641 to get involved!”