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Open Doors USA Launches New 5-5-5 Challenge

Campaign Promotes Prayer and Support for Christians Suffering in World Watch List Countries

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

SANTA ANA, Calif., Feb. 6, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ -- Open Doors USA has launched a campaign to pray and support persecuted Christians called the "5-5-5 Challenge."

Each year Open Doors releases the World Watch List, a ranking of the top 50 countries which are the worst persecutors of Christians. North Korea has held the No. 1 spot for 11 years in a row. Other countries following North Korea on the 2013 list are Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Maldives, Mali, Iran, Yemen and Eritrea.

The 5-5-5 Challenge is a three part campaign. The first part is a challenge to set aside five minutes (or more) a week to pray for the country of the week on the World Watch List website. While some of the countries on the list are frequently in the news, such as North Korea and Syria, there are some that are rarely noticed. Those include such countries as Maldives and Eritrea. This portion of the challenge was created so Christians in every country on the World Watch List are covered with prayer.

The second part of the challenge is to share the challenge with five friends on various social networks and to encourage them to get involved in the 5-5-5 Challenge. The final part of the challenge is to give $5 a month (or more) to support persecuted Christians around the world.

Here is how the campaign works:

  • Users sign up on the website at www.worldwatchlist.us
  • Each week they will receive an email with the featured country from the World Watch List
  • Users click through the email to visit the detail page of the website where they can pray (write a comment) and share the page on social media
  • On social media, Open Doors focuses on the featured country during the week, sending people back to the detail page of the World Watch List website
  • There is also a place on the website to give $5 or more.

Open Doors USA Interim President/CEO Steve Ridgway states: "People love a challenge and Open Doors USA is offering a very unique challenge. We are asking you to pray, communicate and give. The first is a challenge of time, the second involves informing others about our persecuted brothers and sisters and the third is a sacrifice of your resources. Will you join us? Will you dare to engage and step into the lives of faithful Christians who live in hostile places? Will you risk by being one with them?"

The World Watch List website offers numerous resources for the 5-5-5 Challenge for both individuals and churches. Some of the resources include sermons, bulletin inserts, infographics, pictures, videos and testimonies. All of the resources can be downloaded at www.worldwatchlist.us.

For almost 60 years Open Doors has worked in the world's most oppressive and restrictive countries, strengthening Christians to stand strong in the face of persecution and equipping them to shine Christ's light in these places. Open Doors empowers persecuted Christians by supplying Bibles and Christian literature, training Christian leaders, facilitating social/economic projects and uniting believers in the West in prayer for Christians, who are the most persecuted religious group in the world and are oppressed in at least 60 countries. 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 Open Doors USA Media Relations Director Jerry Dykstra at 616-915-4117 or email JerryD@odusa.org.)