Open Doors, (a ministry serving persecuted Christians and churches worldwide), UK & Ireland Standing Strong 2020 celebration was held on Saturday evening, October 3rd, online, bringing greater connection to those who regularly cannot worship freely together. Over 1,700 watchers were recorded, from all parts of the UK and Ireland, and a few other countries too. Celebrating 65 years since Brother Andrew first smuggled Christian literature into communist countries, (read about it in his book God’s Smuggler), and the Open Doors movement was started. The countries highlighted in the event were China, Syria and Nigeria, some of the most costly places to be a Christian.
During this year of continued persecution and poverty has been added the pandemic, but in the midst of strife and hardship God is at work. We are all part of the Body of Christ, standing with those who share our faith but not our freedom.
Reports included the continuing persecution, in many cases worsening, with the added problems the Covid pandemic has brought with loss of income, increasing hunger.
The report from China mentioned they have ‘moved from doing church to being church’, reaching out to support the communities with food parcels, medical care, support. Showing the love of Jesus to all indiscriminately. They even defied the curfew in Wuhan to deliver food parcels to those in need. They will pay any price to help the most vulnerable and meanwhile spreading the Hope of Christ.
In China, as the situation eased and lockdown was lifted, some felt they needed to get together physically as ‘something happens when we gather that cannot happen in any other context’, ‘If zoom is the same as your church service, don’t go back to it’. They are astonished some churches in Britain are still not open.
However, some of the watchers posted comments; ‘for some zoom is the only way possible, then God understands’, how it helps the housebound, and with zoom there are no distractions from other people!
– Speak out on behalf of persecuted Christians, making those with influence and power, such as your MP, aware of the situation so that something can be done about it
– Give – to help the work continue
More information can be found at www.opendoorsuk.org
There will be more details of the event in the next edition of Connections in December.
Open Doors representative, St John’s
Note: Both St John’s, Llandudno, and St David’s, Craig y Don, are partner churches of Open Doors. St David’s representative is Maria Carter. Ed.