The Open Doors Persecuted Church Report 2005 showed hopeful developments in two countries in spite of increased persecution in others.
“As we look back over the past year and the last 50 years, we rejoice at all the Lord has done through Open Doors and its ministry to Persecuted Christians around the world,” says Open Doors USA President Dr. Carl Moeller. “God has truly blessed this ministry.”
“But there is more work that needs to be done. Persecution of God’s Church is on the rise and we must be ready. We need to be ready to go and to pray. We need to press on in 2006 – partnering together to support our brothers and sisters in Christ.”
North Korea, Indonesia, and Eritrea were the top countries this year for Christian persecution according to the oldest on-going ministry to the persecuted church. Yet Open Doors also noted that Ethiopia and China displayed hopeful signs of development in Christianity.
In the African nation of Ethiopia - where about 45-50 percent of the people are Muslim and 35-40 percent are Ethiopian Orthodox, Open Doors reported a story of a Muslim family along with 38 other Ethiopian Muslim villagers who came to Christ after two demon-possessed women were healed.
Kedija was a Muslim woman who suffered for 12 years from severe back pain and, for unexplainable reasons, could not use her legs. Kedija was completely dependent on others and sought healing from witch doctors that she gave all her possessions to, that she lived with for a year, and that her two teenage daughters offered themselves to as wives – all without success.
As a last resort, she requested that a Christian evangelist from another village come meet her. He went to Kedija’s village riding a bike to pray for her.
As he prayed for Kedija, her daughter left the room screaming and the evangelist ran after her and prayed for her, casting out a demon. Kedija also started to scream uncontrollably and the evangelist also cast out her demon and from that moment she was healed and was able to walk.
Kedija, her entire family, and 38 villagers – all previously of Muslim background – accepted Christ. Moreover, Kedija’s husband had built a mosque on their compound, but after his wife’s healing, he offered the building to be used as a church. The 38 new-believers were baptized along with 300 other believers.
In addition, Open Doors also reported hopeful news from China, where it has sent more than three million Bibles and other Christian literatures. The Christian resources are directed at house church leaders and members, hoping that the Word will help them stand firm against the severe persecution and against the widespread influence of cults and false teachings.
In addition, Open Doors trained hundreds of pastors through its “Standing Strong Through the Storm” seminars.