Will there be a church after COVID-19?
Will there be a church after COVID-19? This was a tough question facing the Open Doors director for Asia teams. When urgent calls for help kept pouring in, Open Doors knew that the persecuted church was in desperate need. .
“When the pandemic began to hit country after country, we started to receive phone calls and other pleas for help,” the Open Doors director for Asia team says. “We quickly realized that in many places, Christians were in a very vulnerable position. Many live hand-to-mouth. No income for the day often means no meal that day. Starvation became a real threat for these Christians. If they died, the Church died with them. So soon the question became: will there be a Church after corona?”
When COVID-19 forced countries to close their borders and brought societies and economies to a standstill, many day labourers and others with low incomes immediately found themselves in trouble. They didn’t even have enough savings to buy food for the next day.
Many Christians were hit twice as hard.
In many countries, poor Christians were deliberately left out of aid distribution. We’ve heard stories from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nigeria and elsewhere, all saying the same thing: Christians have been told they don’t get food or medical aid because they follow Jesus. Many said that when they reached out for help, they were told they would only receive help them if they re-converted.
Thanks to your generous ongoing support, Open Doors was able to step in and bring emergency aid kits to those in need. So, despite the risks, Open Doors workers and partners were able to reach many of these persecuted communities at a point of critical need. God opened the way for the support to be delivered. There were restrictions on movement with curfews in place, there was increased monitoring and check posts at borders, there were threats from hostile groups and increased health risks. Yet, God has been working and enabling support to reach families who could not have survived another day without this help.
More than 100,000 persecuted Christians in Asia alone have received urgent aid and relief through our local teams and partner networks. The contents of a relief aid package differ from country to country, but each package provides food, sanitation materials and other daily necessities. Sometimes the package is enough to sustain a family for two months, sometimes the kit is smaller, but the family is visited every few weeks to find out how they are doing.
So far, approximately 18,500 Christian families received an urgent aid and relief kit. The average family in the region consists of between five and seven people, but they often include extended family members and are between 10 and 20 persons.
You are truly helping the Church to survive through this pandemic.
Prayer Desperately needed
Please pray for our Open Doors team members and local partners to continue to provide support to believers who are facing extreme persecution. May the work to provide emergency food aid, medical care, safe houses and advocacy support be able to carry on unhindered at this time.
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Help provide relief
Christians around the world—in places like Vietnam, India, Bangladesh, Syria and more—are desperate for help in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. We are hoping to send 50,000 additional emergency food kits to help thousands of Christians. You can help bring this vital aid today.