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Open Doors International | Archival Collections at Wheaton College

Name: Open Doors International

Historical Note:

The Open Doors ministry to the suffering church traces its origin to a Communist youth conference held in Warsaw, Poland which Brother Andrew (Anne van der Bilj) attended in 1955.  There he realized the great needs of the church of that land and others behind the Iron Curtain: Bibles, Christian Literature, and encouragement from other Christian believers.  This experience started him on a ministry of smuggling Bibles, preaching, material aid, and encouragement. 

Brother Andrew's first book, 'God's Smuggler,' has been translated into twenty-seven different languages and has served as a catalyst and agent for change. It redefined the boundaries of modern missionary endeavor and has stirred many to an awareness of the persecuted Church.

For the first ten years of his efforts Brother Andrew focused on Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. In its second decade Open Doors expanded its efforts to China and to bring Bibles and encouragement to Christians in the difficult areas of Asia, Africa and Latin America. Open Doors’ third decade saw increased contact and work with churches in the Middle East. Open Doors also increased its prayer and Bible distribution campaigns, as well as conducting pastoral training seminars.

The 1990s brought challenges to Communism and the countries that embraced it. The fall of the Iron Curtain brought new opportunities for Open Doors, however, challenges increased in the Global South and the Middle East.

As the ministry of Brother Andrew and the Open Doors ministry has grown over the last forty years its ministry is carried out in over forty countries with thirty offices on six continents.

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