Open Doors is hosting its first ever youth online event where persecuted Christians from around the world will share their stories of faith
The story of Open Doors started 66 years ago with a Dutchman called Anne van der Bijl who famously smuggled Bibles into countries where it was difficult to be a Christian.
It was 1955 when Anne, better known as Brother Andrew, went behind the Iron Curtain to Communist Poland and discovered that Christians there felt isolated and alone.
The trip inspired him to smuggle Bibles to persecuted Christians throughout Eastern Europe – a tale which he later told in his book, God’s Smuggler in 1967.
These days Open Doors supports people who are beaten, tortured, imprisoned, disowned, and hated for following Christ, working in over 60 countries. Providing legal advice, relief aid and trauma care are just some of the ways that Open Doors supports persecuted Christians.
And it also works to tell the stories of people who have stuck by God through very hard times to inspire and encourage Christians in the UK to live boldly for Jesus.
With this is mind the charity is hosting its first ever youth online event where persecuted Christians from around the world will share their stories of faith – Standing Strong Live Brave Faith Youth Gathering.
Head of Youth Development at Open Doors UK and Ireland Naomi Allen said, 'We passionately believe the persecuted church has much to teach us about what being a Christian looks like – our persecuted family aren’t just victims, but courageous and passionate followers of Jesus who can inspire and challenge us to a braver faith.
'We want to inspire young people and youth in their walk with God by bringing the passion and brave faith of persecuted young people straight to their screens.
'We hope young people will be inspired to live courageously for Jesus in their schools, homes and communities.
'Why not get your youth group together and make an evening of it? We will also be launching a brand-new, free discipleship resource: Brave Faith. You don’t want to miss it!'
Speakers at the online event include Farah*, who will share her experience of persecution after her father was arrested, and Soy* from Laos, who was imprisoned aged just 14 for her belief in Christ.
Register today for the Standing Strong Live Brave Faith Youth Gathering which takes place on Friday, September 24.
*Names changed for security reasons
OPEN DOORS RESOURCES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE AND YOUTH LEADERS
Sign up to the Choose to Lose fundraising challenge. Give up something you love – be it the X-Box, your phone, Instagram, sport, your bed or watching TV – and get sponsored. Open Doors will send you resources to help raise money, and to reflect, pray and tell other people about what you are doing and why.
Open Doors’ Secret Church resource explores some of the ways isolated, hidden and secret Christians do church. The charity has taken ideas and approaches from underground church meetings all around the world and translated them into a simple session outline for leaders to use with their youth group or small group.
Join an interactive sponsored walk with Open Doors’ Walk With Them to bring Covid relief aid to Christians in India. Pick a route and a distance and sign up to get Open Doors’ walking guide with stories, prayers, reflections and tasks to undertake during the walk.
Hidden Word is an innovative resource, inspired by persecuted Christians, that helps youth leaders take small groups on a journey to learn Scripture. In places where the Bible is illegal, outlawed and censored, followers of Jesus value it so highly that they memorise massive portions of it. The resource takes people through a six-week course of stories, prayer and Bible memorisation challenges.
Open Doors Youth NANO are a series of themed simple session outlines that focus on incredible stories from persecuted Christians. While the sessions all highlight the context of persecution, the material can be used to work through key discipleship themes.
Write a letter of encouragement to a Christian who has been persecuted through Open Door’s Send Hope letter writing campaign.