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Open Doors USA Focusing on Prayers, Bibles for Children

The International Day Of Prayer for Persecuted Church November 8

Contact: Jerry Dykstra, Media Relations Director, Open Doors USA, 616-915-4117, JerryD@odusa.org

SANTA ANA, Calif., Sept. 14 /Christian Newswire/ -- Usually the village of Gani in northern Nigeria is quiet, especially in the noontime heat.

But this day was different. Almost 2,000 children traveled up to 15 miles to Gani, located in the state of Kano. They came for only one purpose -- to receive a children's Bible from Open Doors.

An Open Doors co-worker witnessed the special occasion: "The children could not hide their joy. The beautiful voices of the young ones filled the air, expressing their gratitude to God for the safe arrival of the Open Doors team delivering the Bibles."

The children were encouraged to share their faith with their fellow students, which is difficult since Kano is one of Nigeria's northern states governed by Sharia (strict Islamic law).

"This Bible will help me to know God more," said Jemima, 17. "Above all, it will encourage me to win souls for the Kingdom."

In many countries children have no access to Bibles or Christian materials. They are fearful of something terrible happening to their parents. They are introduced to the dangers of the world at such a young age; they are no longer innocent children. They feel the pangs of worry, isolation, vulnerability and panic.

That is why Open Doors is focusing on providing children's Bibles to persecuted children around the world for this year's International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) on Sunday, Nov. 8. It is Open Doors' goal to mobilize believers in this country to pray for and support the children of the suffering church, as well as all suffering Christians.

Open Doors is asking Christians in America to help provide children's Bibles to young believers in restricted countries. The need is so great, that Open Doors is launching a special IDOP campaign to provide 100,000 children's and youth Bibles.

"A church's financial support of this campaign will make a real difference as it only costs $5 to send one Bible to build a child in his or her young faith." says Jane Huckaby, Vice President of Program Services for Open Doors USA. "The church in America can bring them the one hope on which they can stand strong."

On Nov. 8 churches around the world will focus on prayer and support for 100 million brothers and sisters who are being persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ. IDOP is one of the largest prayer events in the world -- an estimated half a million churches in 150 countries -- and has heightened awareness of persecuted Christians since its inception in 1996. It crosses all denominational lines.

"The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church presents a tremendous opportunity for millions of people to make a difference in the lives of those being persecuted -- especially children -- for their faith in countries like North Korea, Nigeria, Iran,  and many more," says Open Doors USA President/CEO Carl Moeller.

Most of the materials can be downloaded directly from the Open Doors Website. The kit can be used not only on Nov. 8, but all year long. You can receive a FREE kit and/or can download IDOP resources at http://members.opendoorsusa.org/site/PageNavigator/IDOP_2009_LP or www.OpenDoorsUSA.org. You can also call 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535). Resources include:

  • 2' x 5' Will You Pray for Me banner
     
  • Two compelling videos
     
  • Power point slides
     
  • Prayer point bulletin inserts
     
  • Other visual helps for your small group, church or community prayer IDOP participation

There is also the opportunity on the IDOP Website to send Bibles to persecuted believers using a simple text message.

An estimated 100 million Christians worldwide suffer interrogation, arrest and even death for their faith in Christ, with millions more facing discrimination and alienation. Open Doors supports and strengthens believers in the world's most difficult areas through Bible and Christian literature distribution, leadership training and assistance, Christian community development, prayer and presence ministry and advocacy on behalf of suffering believers. To partner with Open Doors USA, call toll free at 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535) or go to our Website at www.OpenDoorsUSA.org.

(For more information or to set up an interview, contact Jerry Dykstra at 616-915-4117 or email jerryd@odusa.org).