Your gifts and prayers have meant a milestone has been reached in Asia - 100,000 believers have been given crucial Covid-19 food and aid. Many of these Christians are left at the back of the queue when aid is distributed.
Without your prayers and gifts, there are more than 100,000 persecuted Christians in Asia who wouldn’t have received vital aid in the face of the pandemic. Thank you so much!
It’s difficult to picture that many people – perhaps it’s easier to imagine a family of ten, desperate for food and aid – and then their joyful faces when that help arrives. Now multiply that family by ten, then by ten again, then again, and then once more. And that’s still not all the believers who have so far been met and sustained by Open Doors partners across Asia, from India to Indonesia, Vietnam to Bangladesh, Nepal to the Philippines – many of whom were discriminated against when official Covid-19 aid was distributed.
“When the pandemic began to hit country after country, we started to receive phone calls and other pleas for help,” the Open Doors director for the Asia team says. “We quickly realised that, in many places, Christians were in a very vulnerable position. Many live hand-to-mouth. No income for the day often means no meal that day.
"The reason we are called ‘Open Doors’ is because, for God, no door is shut." Open Doors Asia Director
"Starvation became a real threat for these Christians. If they died, the church in that area died with them. So soon the question became: will there be a church after corona?”
The stories told to Open Doors field workers proved that this was a fair question: “We received dozens of reports of Christians who contemplated suicide and a number of new believers who had returned to Islam. They needed the food and their communities would only help them if they re-converted. In addition, the stream of messages we get in which Christians tell us that they are starving and don’t receive help because of their faith is simply endless.”
"Due to the lockdown, we have no job and no food for the family," says one Indian believer. "Thank you for the help given to us."
Amazingly enough, despite all the restrictions, increased monitoring, threats from groups hostile to Christians and the health risks, God opened the way for Open Doors workers and partners to give aid. “The reason we are called ‘Open Doors’ is because, for God, no door is shut,” the Open Doors director says. “And the global body of Christ came through as well.
“The response in prayer and giving from supporters around the world is amazing. God has used them. Thanks to Open Doors’ supporters, there will still be a church after corona in many places where its existence was threatened.”
Approximately 18,500 Christian families have received urgent aid across Asia so far, which is at least 100,000 people. The contents and quantities of relief packs differ from country to country, but each package provides food, sanitation materials and other daily necessities. Sometimes the package is enough to sustain a family for two months; sometimes the kit is smaller but the family is visited every few weeks.
"We pray that you will continue to be a blessing for many others." Indonesian Christian
Initially, Open Doors hoped to reach approximately 50,000 persecuted Christians in Asia with relief aid. “The needs are so vast, however,” the Asia director says. “Thanks to the gracious support of donors around the world, we were able to scale up quickly and double the number of people. We cannot stop now. We have identified thousands more families whose lives are in danger because they don’t have any food or income. In the coming weeks, we hope to reach an additional 25-50,000 Christians.”
"We are truly grateful for the help," says a believer in Indonesia. "You helped us and so many others who are in dire need of this support. We pray that you will continue to be a blessing for many others."
Thank you so much for all you have done so far. The need is still great, and your gifts and prayers can ensure that the church is kept alive through the darkest of periods.
Raise the issue of Christians who are last in line for Covid-19 food and aid. Post a photo on social media of yourself with an empty plate and a cross - however you want to interpret that. Tag @opendoorsuk, your MP and #TheLastInLine.