Millions receive Scripture in countries closed to the Gospel.

By March 15, 2004

International (MNN/Open Doors) — Open Doors delivered almost four million Bibles, Children’s Bibles, Study Bibles and other Scriptural books to persecuted Christians worldwide in 2003, an increase of about 40 percent over 2002.

In addition, more than 22,000 pastors and church leaders received intensive training in how to lead their congregations and stand strong in their faith in the midst of persecution and discrimination.

“We are very grateful that Open Doors teams working in hot spots around the world were able to deliver four million Bibles and other Scriptural pieces along with training thousands of pastors — despite the increase in danger,” says Open Doors USA President Dr. Carl Moeller. “I’ve heard first-hand of how the training courses for pastors in Vietnam are impacting the entire country for Christ — the lessons are written recognizing the culture that they serve in.

“In China I heard one of the Sunday School networks needed 20 pieces of curriculum and 20 leaders guides last year but this year they need 2,000. We talk about moving a million pieces of literature into China, but we are just scratching the surface of what is needed. Thousands of children are being impacted directly by the Sunday School materials and many more impacted indirectly.

“All the materials and training would not be possible without the partnership of our supporters across the United States. Thank you for taking a stand for our persecuted brothers and sisters in faith.”

During the last 15 years, Open Doors has increased its focus on pastoral and church leadership training, since few opportunities are available to Christians in the difficult areas where Open Doors works.

And as the global ministry to the Persecuted Church looks toward celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2005, Open Doors is increasing efforts to reach and strengthen the emerging generations of young Christians to build a solid foundation for future church growth in some of the world’s most restricted areas.

An estimated 200 million Christians worldwide suffer interrogation, arrest and even death for their faith in Christ, with another 200 to 400 million facing discrimination and alienation. Open Doors serves and strengthens the Persecuted Church in the world’s most difficult areas through training, Bible and literature distribution, community development and personal encouragement.

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