It is estimated that 250 million followers of Jesus are persecuted every year.
A significant proportion of the Open Hands resources is distributed to projects that help Christians where they suffer discrimination, oppression and persecution as a consequence of their faith. The projects aim to strengthen Christian individuals, churches and their communities by providing material and spiritual support in response to needs identified by local Christian leaders. This ministry makes known the plight of the persecuted Church, particularly in the Muslim world, by a wide variety of means, in order to educate Christians and others about the current situation and needs as well as the background and causal factors.
The support of this mission can be further defined as follows:
- Directing our aid only to Christians, although its benefits may not be exclusive to them (“As we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Galatians 6:10, emphasis added)
- Aiming the majority of our aid at Christians living in Muslim environments
- Channelling money from Christians through Christians to Christians
- Channelling money through existing structures in the countries where funds are sent (e.g. local churches or Christian organisations)
- Using the money to fund projects which have been developed by local Christians in their own communities, countries or regions
- Considering any request, however small
- Acting as equal partners with the persecuted Church, whose leaders often help shape our overall direction
- Acting on behalf of the persecuted Church, to be their voice – making their needs known to Christians around the world and the injustice of their persecution known to governments and international bodies