SANTA ANA, CA – Open Doors delivered almost four million Bibles, Children’s Bibles, Study Bibles and other Scriptural books to persecuted Christians worldwide in 2003, an increase of about 40 percent over 2002.
In addition, more than 22,000 pastors and church leaders received intensive training in how to lead their congregations and stand strong in their faith in the midst of persecution and discrimination.
“We are very grateful that Open Doors teams working in hot spots around the world were able to deliver four million Bibles and other Scriptural pieces along with training thousands of pastors – despite the increase in danger,” says Open Doors USA President Dr. Carl Moeller. “I’ve heard first-hand of how the training courses for pastors in Vietnam are impacting the entire country for Christ – the lessons are written recognizing the culture that they serve in.
“In China I heard one of the Sunday School networks needed 20 pieces of curriculum and 20 leaders guides last year but this year they need 2,000. We talk about moving a million pieces of literature into China, but we are just scratching the surface of what is needed. Thousands of children are being impacted directly by the Sunday School materials and many more impacted indirectly.
“All the materials and training would not be possible without the partnership of our supporters across the United States. Thank you for taking a stand for our persecuted brothers and sisters in faith.”
During the last 15 years, Open Doors has increased its focus on pastoral and church leadership training, since few opportunities are available to Christians in the difficult areas where Open Doors works.
And as the global ministry to the Persecuted Church looks toward celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2005, Open Doors is increasing efforts to reach and strengthen the emerging generations of young Christians to build a solid foundation for future church growth in some of the world’s most restricted areas.
Open Doors has long been known for its emphasis on prayer and for its Bible distribution ministry because its founder, Brother Andrew -- author of the bestselling book “God’s Smuggler” -- and his co-workers first delivered Bibles to churches behind the Iron Curtain and in later years to Asia, Latin America and the Muslim World.
Since those early days of ministry, however, the work of Open Doors has expanded to meet the growing needs for personal encouragement and training. The ministry also supports the establishment of Bible-centered literacy programs and Christian community development projects to aid Christians living in areas where they are considered second-class citizens because of their faith.