2020 Impact - Asia

The approach to the pandemic varied across Asia, depending on whether you were in China, India or the Gulf.

But the impact on persecuted Christians was the same: it heaped misery on suffering.

COVID-19 intensified persecution right across this region. We received many heart-breaking cries for help. Thanks to your generosity and prayers, Christians got the support they needed when it mattered most.

 

Your support helped bring vital emergency aid to 283,000 believers in Asia. 126,000 were in India, where the pandemic continues to have a devastating effect.

 

This faithful generosity filled our brothers and sisters with hope and faith – and helped them hold onto God’s promises. Thank you.
And yet not only do Christians in Asia face the ongoing impact and threat of the pandemic. Persecution continues and has even intensified among communities isolated by the lockdown restrictions.

 

In 2021, our goal is to reach 45,000 of the most vulnerable believers in Asia with emergency relief. We want to provide wider support to a further 680,000 people in communities affected by COVID. Will you stand with them for the long-term?

"What we were able to achieve last year was impossible. God
opened the doors miraculously and used you to do the impossible."

FIELD WORKER, ASIA

“Remembering your dedication to us, we committed our lives to the ministry of the underground church. We are grateful to our brothers and sisters from all over the world.”

NORTH KOREAN BELIEVER

Your questions answered.

 

How did COVID-19 affect the persecuted church in Asia?

 

Persecuted Christians are among the most vulnerable people in society, and disproportionately suffered from the virus and lockdown.

 

In the Gulf, Christians have been turned away from healthcare provision. In central Asia, believers were overlooked for government help. In Communist Asia, groups of tribal believers received no state aid.

 

Meanwhile, Muslim-background believers have been hit especially hard. Shunned by family who oppose their conversion, many endured real hardship and isolation when crisis struck.

 

How did my support help in Asia in 2020?

 

Thanks to you, Open Doors reached 283,000 individuals with food relief and other practical aid in Asia, 126,000 in India alone. This emergency aid saved lives. It restored hope and confidence, and strengthened believers to stand firm on God’s promises.

 

What help do persecuted Christians need now?

 

Above all, persecuted Christians need support to hold firm in their faith. Bible distribution, leadership training and discipleship remain essential mission activities.
We need to adapt ministries to increasingly move online, providing spiritual help safely and digitally. But we must also reach vulnerable Christians living in rural areas, with no online access. There will always be a call for our in-person ministry.

People need help to earn money following the economic impact of the pandemic. We intend to launch income-generation projects across this region.

In addition, many families still depend on food and relief. In 2021, we aim to provide essential support to:

• 15-25,000 people in central Asia

• 10,000 Christians in the Gulf

• 1,600-1,800 families in South East Asia

 

How can I pray?

 

Your prayers make a powerful difference and your help in this way is vitally important.

 

• Lift up Asia’s persecuted Church and ask God to protect, expand and deepen it, so that the church can be a centre of hope for communities.

 

• Pray for believers under extreme pressure as a result of the pandemic. Ask that Jesus will sustain them, and fill them with hope and courage.

 

• Pray for wisdom and agility among our teams as they respond to changing needs among persecuted Christians. Pray for new projects, for our online ministry, and for the large-scale distribution of aid.

 

Please, will you stand with persecuted Christians?

 

Your long-term support can keep hope alive beyond the pandemic into an uncertain future.

 

Please prayerfully consider if the time is right to commit to pray for and support your persecuted family regularly, if you don't already do so.

“We had no income nor a place to live in the pandemic. We prayed and kept our hope on God. As an answer, we received groceries and help to build a house. I am grateful to God – and to you for standing with us and sharing our burden.”

MAHESH, FROM NEPAL