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Our history

Open Doors originated in 1955, when a young Dutchman started smuggling Bibles to the persecuted Christians in Communist Europe. He became known as Brother Andrew, and his work led to more than six decades of support for the persecuted church

Brother Andrew Our History

Frequently asked questions about Open Doors U.S.

Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about Open Doors' work with persecuted Christians, Open Doors U.S.'s relationship with Global Christian Relief (the organization that previously operated as Open Doors USA) and Brother Andrew. If you have additional questions that aren't answered here, please contact us at info@opendoorsus.org or calling 1-800-896-5285.
Additionally, you can also give now to Open Doors’ field programs supporting the persecuted church in more than 70 countries. and sign up today to stay connected with Open Doors and the courageous faith of the persecuted church. 

If you wish to continue to support projects from Open Doors—the ministry started when Brother Andrew began smuggling Bibles in 1955–this will not happen automatically. You will need to call us at 1-800-896-5285 or email us at info@opendoosus.org to reinstate your monthly gift to Open Doors.

If you want to continue to support Open Doors field programs serving the church, as you have done in the past, you will need to set up a new monthly gift. You can do so on our website by clicking here and selecting "monthly" as your giving option.

Open Doors continues in the U.S. as Open Doors U.S., fully dedicated to the mission and vision of our late founder Brother Andrew to serve persecuted Christians. This includes a renewed focus on connecting the U.S. church with our persecuted family around the world.

Thanks to 65 years of faithful service and risk-taking by courageous brothers and sisters, Open Doors has unprecedented access and opportunity to support the most hidden, most vulnerable persecuted Christians. As part of the body of Christ, connected together, we can all be part of that story. Inspiring and encouraging Christians with how God is at work in some of the most dangerous places on earth. Sign up today to stay connected with the courageous faith of the persecuted church through Open Doors.

Sign up today to stay connected with the courageous faith of the persecuted church through Open Doors.

No – Open Doors, the ministry founded by Brother Andrew in 1955, continues in the U.S. under the name of Open Doors U.S..

If you have gave regularly to Open Doors USA in the past, and wish to continue to support Open Doors, you will need to change your contact and donations information to the new Open Doors U.S. office. You can do so by clicking the "Give Now" button at the top of this page.

Any recurring gifts set up prior to 2023 will now support the work of Global Christian Relief rather than Open Doors, unless you elect to discontinue those gifts. Global Christian Relief is not affiliated with the Open Doors global network or connected to our field programs. For any changes to your communications preferences or ongoing donations to Global Christian Relief, please contact them here.

We cannot confirm whether Global Christian Relief has granted your specific donations to Open Doors. Please inquire with them directly to confirm your intentions for your gifts. Starting in 2023, any donations you would like to support the global work of Open Doors should be given through the new Open Doors U.S. website: Give now. You can also set up a new recurring gift.

Sign up here to ensure you do not miss any communications from Open Doors U.S.. This includes our annual World Watch List report on the top 50 countries where Christians experience the highest levels of persecution and discrimination.

Sign up today to stay connected with the courageous faith of the persecuted church through Open Doors.

You can order your free copy of Open Doors 30th Anniversary World Watch List report on the top 10 countries where Christians experience the highest levels of persecution and discrimination at opendoorsus.org.

Sign up today to order your free copy of the 2024 Open Doors World Watch List report.

Brother Andrew was the founder of Open Doors and an ordained minister in a very large Protestant/Evangelical denomination, but he did not pastor a church. Like John Wesley, "The world is his parish!" The name 'Brother' is not a title, nor is he a monk - he was first called 'Brother Andrew' by the persecuted church. When they asked him his name, he would say, "I am a brother of all those who love and follow Jesus Christ."

In 1955, he went on a group tour to Poland where he discovered a remnant church behind the Iron Curtain, desperately in need of the Word of God. He responded to God's call in Revelation 3:2 to "Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die," and began distributing suitcases full of Christian literature into Eastern Europe, marking the humble beginnings of Open Doors with Brother Andrew.

His autobiography, God's Smuggler, is an international bestseller and details his early experiences of dangerous border crossings, KGB pursuits, and Brother Andrew's courageous journey towards living radically for Jesus Christ.

In 1997, Brother Andrew was the recipient of the World Evangelical Fellowship's Religious Liberty Award, recognising his lifetime of service to the persecuted church and passion for spreading the gospel.

In 2022, Brother Andrew died, aged 94, surrounded by his family at home in the Netherlands.

As a result of Open Doors’ longstanding underground network, and our commitment to working with local Christians, the sources of our information are almost always based on direct eyewitness accounts from our contacts. 

We have developed personal relationships with the churches we serve and have often worked with the pastors of these congregations for years. This is partly why we are so careful to protect the identity of persecuted Christians and why we often cannot disclose the nature or location of the assistance we are providing in full detail. 

In addition, we refer to news reports published in the countries where the events have taken place, and news services including World Watch Monitor News Service, which reports on Christian persecution exclusively.

It is our policy that the church determines the need, and together with them, we try to find answers to their needs. 

Every country has different needs and every church has its own unique struggles. We are careful not to push our own agenda on the church.  

If a church needs rebuilding, we help with that. If a pastor requests Bibles, we are quick to provide what we can. We have also helped with economic relief, rebuilding of destroyed churches and whatever else our brothers and sisters have requested.

The primary beneficiary group for the money raised by Open Doors supporters is persecuted Christians, especially those who deliberately overlooked by official relief channels. In some cases, we feel compelled or called to support non-Christians directly, but the vast majority of people who receive our aid are persecuted Christians. Indirectly, though, people of many faiths are supported.

Globally, Open Doors’ approach is to support the local church to serve its community because we believe the local church is God’s primary plan for restoring the nations. So the support we raise goes to local churches and church partners on the ground. Many of those churches are also reaching out to those of other faiths and helping them in times of crisis—for instance, a church in Sri Lanka shared crucial food and aid during Covid-19 with people who had recently persecuted them.

Our role is to respond to the requests of the local church and so equip her to be a light to the nations.

Most of the work Open Doors does takes place in non-English speaking countries, so the Bibles we distribute are most often in other languages. All of the translations are fully approved by the Bible Societies.

Our Bibles cost around $7 each, which includes delivery. The actual printing cost varies from country to country but we combine those figures and this is the worldwide average amount.

For some, the cost of delivering God's Word to other Christians has been a prison sentence or exile from their home and family. A few have lost their lives for distributing the Word of God in their respective countries.

Our training varies, depending on the country and depending on the need of Christians in that country.

For example, in several countries in Africa, we concentrate on building up church leaders, most of whom have little or no previous pastoral training. The training is done for one week each month, for 10 months.

The course is completed in three years, and is based on 2 Timothy 2:2, with the emphasis on faithful men who are able to teach others.

It is unique and valuable because it was developed locally, and students are not taken out of their community during their schooling. They stay in touch with their real world and apply teachings immediately.

Fellowship is possible between pastors and students, and tutors are also local residents who are in touch with the real needs of the students.

In some countries the difficulties are still very great, but the dedication of the students and teachers keeps the programme alive.

In countries where training must be absolutely secret, seminars are arranged for several days, and everyone stays in seclusion for the entire time. Again, these training courses and seminars vary according to the country, but we have taught on topics such as "The Faithful Pastor," "The Kingdom of God," "Christian Leadership," and "Preaching and Teaching."

One of our most powerful seminars is "Standing Strong Through the Storm". It seeks to teach Christians living in high-risk areas how to thrive under severe persecution and suffering.

The study Bibles we deliver are designed to edify. They are doctrinally sound and much appreciated in places where Bible study "helps" are almost nonexistent. We believe that by providing study Bibles, we are strengthening new believers in their faith and furthering their understanding of and belief in the Lord Jesus Christ.