It can be quite depressing to hear all that is happening around the world against Christians, even though we know that God is good and is all-powerful. I think it’s important to know that there are groups whose whole raison d’etre is to do all they can to support these people and to bring to the world’s attention what is happening to them. Here are some brief snapshots of some of these groups.
Open Doors was started by Brother Andrew of Bible-smuggling fame. The non-denominational ministry is based in Ermelo, The Netherlands, and continues to provide Bibles and other Christian literature to Eastern Europe, Russia, China and other countries.
Its aims are to raise awareness of persecution around the world and mobilize support for the persecuted church. Worldwide, the ministry has trained more than 3.8 million persecuted Christians through leadership and discipleship courses, trauma care training and persecution survival seminars, as well as providing emergency relief, community development, education and medical care.
Open Doors hold an International Day of Prayer for the persecuted church as well as continual prayer for the needs in the world. “Our prayers can go where we cannot” says Brother Andrew.
Advocacy on behalf of the persecuted is another aspect of this ministry, having access from the White House to the UK Parliament, from the EU to the UN.
Open Doors also compiles a World Watch List of the countries where it is most dangerous to follow Jesus. Each country on the list has a link that describes specifically what the issues are in that country and the severity of the persecution. It is sobering reading for those of us in our comfortable affluence.
Their introductory statement: Not Alone. Not Forgotten. Not Ever. More than 340 million Christians suffer high levels of persecution and discrimination for their faith. That’s 1 in 8 worldwide, 1 in 6 in Africa, 2 out of 5 in Asia, and 1 in 12 in Latin America. We stand with them.
The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) is a nonprofit, interdenominational missions organization that serves persecuted Christians around the world. Founded in 1967 by Romanian pastors Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, VOM serves persecuted Christians with practical and spiritual assistance and leads Christians in the free world into fellowship with persecuted believers.
The concept for the ministry arose out ofRichard’s own experience ofimprisonment for 14 years in Communist Romania for his faith in Christ. It is dedicated to inspiring believers to deepen their commitment to Christ and to fulfil His Great Commission. Each mission in different countries is autonomous with its own focus and management, although there is cooperation through the International Christian Association.
VOM International works in 68 Countries. In 2020 VOM Australia provided Bibles and Life Packs in Pakistan, Iran, China, Philippines, India, Myanmar, Egypt, North Korea, Brunei and Malaysia. There is also a weekly radio program with news, interviews and updates on our Christian brothers and sisters in restricted nations.
This ministry is inspired by Hebrews Chapter 13, verse 3, “Remember the prisoners as if chained with them – those who are mistreated – since you yourselves are in the body also.”
Christian Faith and Freedom (CFF) is an advocacy group whose mission statement is “Alerting governments to the suffering of persecuted Christians, defending the freedom to practise and proclaim the Christian faith.” The mission statement encompasses raising awareness of persecution in different government and human rights forums, accurate and courageous commentary on world events and calling for prayer.
Through advocacy, aid and prayer the ministry aims to alleviate the suffering of those who are persecuted by oppressive governments and individuals because of their faith in Christ. They have assisted Christians as culturally diverse as the Christians of the Maluku Islands in Indonesia, the Coptic Christians of Egypt, the Karen tribes of Burma, the Christians of Pakistan, India and Africa, the Underground Churches of China and the Middle East.
CFF publishes up to date information about persecution around the world, specifically in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America. The Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin is compiled by Elizabeth Kendall, who has served as CFF Director of Advocacy since January 2013.
Morning Star News – First Light Before the Dawn
Morning Star News is an independent news service focusing exclusively on the persecution of Christians around the world.
Founded by former Compass Direct News editor Jeff M. Sellers on Sept. 30, 2012, the news service’s mission is to provide complete, reliable, even-handed news in order to empower those in the free world to help persecuted Christians, and to encourage persecuted Christians by informing them that they are not alone in their suffering.
Bitter Winter was launched in May 2018 as an online magazine on religious liberty and human rights in China published by CESNUR, the Center for Studies on New Religions, headquartered in Torino, Italy. Massimo Introvigne is the editor-in-chief. Scholars, journalists, and human rights activists from different countries started working together to give voice for the voiceless by publishing news, documents, and testimonies about persecutions against all religions in China.
Bitter Winter is independent of any religious or political organization and is mostly the fruit of volunteer work. It has a network of correspondents in all Chinese provinces, who supply information at the risk of their own lives.
From December 1, 2020, Bitter Winter added an international section covering religious liberty worldwide. We continuously expand our coverage to new countries and new issues.
Praise and prayer
Praise God that there are people who seek to see justice done in the world and who are willing to stand with and support persecuted Christians.
We need to pray for these groups, that they may remain faithful to their calling and continue to bring us information to fuel our prayers.
Aira Chilcott is a retired secondary school teacher with lots of science andtheology under her belt. Aira is a panellist and editor for PSI and indulges inreading, bushwalking and volunteering at a nature reserve. Aira is married to Billand they have three adult sons.
Aira Chilcott's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/aira-chilcott.html