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STORIES OF COURAGE!
4 years ago
| Blue Label
STORIES OF COURAGE!
4 years ago
God recently intervened to protect new Ethiopian converts from danger. 
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3 years ago
  Open Doors Provides Safe Havens for Converts on the Run How your support is providing help and hope to persecuted believers who have nowhere else to turn

Open Doors provides Safe Haven

"I dreamed of a vast field, full of people—hundreds, perhaps thousands. They were all dressed in white and were looking up to heaven in expectation. Suddenly, a dazzling light shone on the crowd. Out of the light, the Lord Jesus stepped forward. He hovered over the people and blessed them.”

It was a year ago when Hasani’s journey of faith began. Like countless other converts living in closed Islamic countries, God first spoke to Hasani through the vivid dream he describes above. "I awoke confused, my whole body shaking,” recalls Hasani. "I had heard of Isa—Jesus—only from the Quran. I knew He was a man who had performed miracles, but I never thought that He would reveal Himself to me!”

Seeking Jesus
As a devout Muslim, the vision turned Hasani’s world upside down. "After my dream, I had to know more about this man Jesus, so I began to secretly watch Christian satellite broadcasts on the television,” says Hasani. Eventually, he found the courage to speak to a Christian neighbor, who took him along to a gathering of believers. "I started to attend the services in secret, and also took part in a Bible study group,” Hasani recalls.

It wasn’t long before Hasani’s wife grew suspicious. An argument flared up, and Hasani’s wife gave him an ultimatum. "If you don’t want to follow Islam, I want a divorce.” Hasani felt as if his heart was being torn in two, but he knew he had to stand firm for Christ. With courage, Hasani calmly gave his answer: "I am not walking away from the Lord Jesus.”

Betrayed and beaten
A short while later, Hasani returned home to find his whole family waiting for him. Angered by his decision to continue following Jesus, Hasani’s wife had told them of his conversion. "Have you really abandoned Islam?” barked Hasani’s eldest brother, filled with rage.

Again, Hasani stood firm. "I cannot deny the Lord Jesus,” he replied. "If I were to do so, He wouldn’t acknowledge me in heaven. So if you are asking me whether I believe in the Lord Jesus, the answer is yes!”

"Cursed!” screamed Hasani’s brother, "You’re cursed by God! From now on, you are no longer part of this family. Anyone can kill you for your apostasy!”

Hasani’s situation only got worse when he was lured to an abandoned warehouse some time later and was locked up and beaten in an attempt to force him to deny Christ. After three days, Hasani thankfully managed to escape. Unable to return home, Hasani was literally on the run.

Open Doors steps in
Through your support, Open Doors was able to step in to help Hasani, and we continue to minister to him as he remains in hiding.

"Thank you that you care about me so much,” says Hasani, who asks us to uphold him in prayer. "Please pray that God will strengthen me to persevere in my faith. But do not pray only for me, but for all secret believers worldwide!”

Throughout the Muslim world’s most restricted countries, Open Doors teams are working to care for converts like Hasani who pay such a high cost for following Jesus. Your gift to support Open Doors will enable our co-workers in these countries to provide safe houses, spiritual care and vocational training for believers who simply have nowhere else to turn. Thank you for your support!

3 years ago

Years of bureaucratic struggle over a church property finally erupted in violence in the Shandong province of China.


For two years the Changchunli church members have been protesting the unlawful arrangement the director and deputy director of Ji'nan Municipal Bureau for Ethnic and Religious affairs manipulated the presidents of the Ji'nan Christian Council and Municipal Christian Three-Self Patriotic Movement Committee (Municipal CCC/TSPM) into signing. The agreement authorized the removal and demolition of the Changchunil Church and reduced the property owned by the church from 1129 square meters to a mere 300 square meters.


Despite efforts to force church members to accept the terms of the contract and the loss of their church, the protests continued. The Municipal Bureau for Ethnic and Religious Affairs made the Municipal CCC/TSPM stop all religious activities of Changchunli, recall the chief pastor, cancel the church's management committee functions, and disperse its members. Members and leadership refused and the protests continued.


When church members were told that the area that had once been their property would become another church, Changchunli church members pitched tents on the construction site and began living there.


The church members have done more than camp out on their former property. They have filed reports and complaints with the proper authorities and have received no replies.


Because of their continued protests members of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement Changchunli Church were attacked by a mob of some 200 people dressed as police. Sixteen people were seriously injured and one person was permanently blinded in one eye.


Police were immediately called, but the response time was curiously slow. When emergency responders did arrive, they refused to speak to the victims. They instead chose to speak to the land developers.


Instead of taking the attack laying down, later that same day Changchunli church members staged a 300 person strong protest at the municipal government to raise objections with the way police responded to the attack.