As a church we have always sought to stand with brothers and sisters across the world who are being persecuted for their faith. One of the ministries that we are most grateful for is Open Doors, so we are delighted to announce that we have recently appointed Sophie Toovey as an Open Doors representative at Hill City. Here are some of her thoughts:
Open Doors is a Christian charity which focuses on strengthening the church in places round the world where it is very difficult to be a Christian.
Every year they publish a World Watch List of the 50 countries where persecution is the most severe. The main source of persecution currently around the world is Islamic extremist groups such as IS, Boko Haram or Al Shabaab. There are also some dictatorships like North Korea where there is very limited religious freedom. In these hard places, Open Doors work to supply Bibles and training to church leaders and meet the physical needs of believers too by giving emergency survival packs and micro loans for them to grow their own businesses to support themselves.
Open Doors work to raise awareness in the UK of Christian persecution amongst churches, providing prayer materials and other resources, and on a political level by parliamentary lobbying. As a church rep at Hill City, I’ll be passing on information about what is happening to our brothers and sisters around the world so that we can pray, and I’ll also be sharing any relevant petitions or campaigns that we can support.
We are already a church that prays for the persecuted church, and in the past year with all the high-profile attacks on Christians in Iraq, Syria and Nigeria, we are feeling the burden more than ever to pray and suffer with our brothers and sisters around the world. Let’s continue to grow in prayerfulness together and let the reality of persecution affect our minds and hearts, so that we’re alert and persevering in prayer for all the Lord’s people. (Eph 6:18)