Where We Started
Did you know Open Doors has been partnering with people like you, to strengthen the persecuted church since 1955?
Open Doors was founded when Brother Andrew began smuggling Bibles into Eastern Europe.
Since then, Open Doors has expanded to work in over 70 countries, providing discipleship, emergency relief, and community development to Christians in the most dangerous places to follow Jesus.
Where do you join us
on this timeline?
Bold Beginnings With Brother Andrew
Brother Andrew, a 27-year-old Dutch missionary, smuggles Bibles into Eastern Europe for the first time. He draws inspiration from Revelation 3:2 to “strengthen what remains and is about to die.” This marks the beginning of the Open Doors ministry.
A decade later, Brother Andrew’s biography, God’s Smuggler, becomes one of the best-selling Christian books of all time.
An Iconic VW Beetle
Brother Andrew makes the first of many trips to the Soviet Union in his iconic blue Volkswagen Beetle. He smuggles Bibles right under the watchful eyes of the authorities. Brother Andrew prays a smugglers prayer, still prayed today as we deliver Bibles into dangerous countries:
“Lord you made blind eyes see. Now I pray, make seeing eyes blind.”
Open Doors begins monitoring persecution around the world. This later develops to become the World Watch List, now the most authoritative list of its kind.
Open Doors Reaches New Zealand
While on a speaking tour in New Zealand, Brother Andrew approaches Brian Caughey, Director of Youth With A Mission (YWAM), and asks him to open an office in Wellington to handle the Open Doors ministry across Australasia and Asia.
One Million Bibles in One Night
The smuggling operation ‘Project Pearl’ sees one million Bibles delivered to a beach in China in one night. Thousands of waiting believers gather to receive the Bibles and TIME Magazine calls it ‘the largest operation of its kind in the history of China’.
North Korean Ministry
Open Doors begins working with North Koreans, delivering 10,000 Korean Bibles. Today, North Korea remains one of the most dangerous place to be a Christian.
Open Doors celebrates 60 years of serving the persecuted Church, helping people follow Jesus where faith costs the most.
65 Years On
Open Doors celebrates its 65th anniversary. The ministry works in over 70 countries worldwide providing discipleship, emergency relief, and community development.
Brother Andrew Passes Away
At 94, Founder Brother Andrew goes home to be with God. In 1955, as he prayed over a Communist youth rally in Poland, Andrew surrendered to a word from the Lord in Revelation 3:2: “Strengthen what remains and is about to die.”
Partnering With The New Zealand Church
2022 and beyond
Open Doors partners with some of New Zealand’s most influential churches and Christian leaders to see more support and awareness of the persecuted church than ever before as together, we help people follow Jesus all over the world, no matter the cost.