Meeting the spiritual needs of Christians in areas inhospitable to religious freedom is the mission and guiding principle of Open Doors USA. The California-based ministry has been operational since 1955 when its founder Brother Andrew – who does not use his last name – began bringing Bibles into former Soviet bloc countries in Eastern Europe. In the past 55 years it has served as a source for Christian literature and training as places such as China and India have gradually allowed more religious freedom. Open Doors, however, works in dozens of countries where religious freedom is only a concept. It works quietly in many nations with state-sponsored or mandated adherence to one faith. The ministry distributes Bibles, Christian literature and provides training to leaders in places where access to any materials could leave to severe punishment. It also supplies materials to schools a various levels of education to help them teach others about God’s Word. An annual watch list of countries with the harshest persecution of Christians is generated every January. For the past eight years, North Korea has topped the list. Imprisonment is possible for Christians not going outside the strict prescriptions of dictator Kin Jong-Il’s regime. Also included prominently on the 2010 list is Iran, which has cracked down on dissent in the wake of last year’s disputed presidential election. An International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church is an annual event for Open Doors as well. Online and print materials are made available for North American churches to connect to Christians worldwide through prayer. It is also an opportunity to raise funds and focus on Bible distribution in otherwise closed countries. The ministry firmly believes that getting a Bible in the hands of children will help them develop and become Christian leaders in their own communities when they become adults. Open Doors committed about 72 percent of its expenses toward program expenses in 2008, with 17 percent going toward fundraising and 12 percent toward administration. Open Doors has been given a four-star rating by Charity Navigator for its financial stewardship.
Published April 13th, 2010 by wpengine