Our History

"Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done." Psalm 105:1

1955-2015 TIMELINE

1955: Brother Andrew travels into Eastern Europe for the first time.

1957: Brother Andrew starts smuggling Bibles behind the Iron Curtain, driving his blue Volkswagen Beetle, which was to travel over 200,000 miles.

1958: Printing presses begin to print Bibles for distribution to persecuted Christians.

1966: Chairman Mao begins the Cultural Revolution in China, attempting to wipe out all religion.

1967: Brother Andrew’s biography, God’s Smuggler, becomes one of the best-selling Christian books of all time.

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1975: Open Doors sponsors the ‘Love China’ conference in Southeast Asia, to encourage ministry to China.

1976: The first Open Doors radio transmission is broadcast to encourage persecuted Christians.

1977: 1,000 Bibles are delivered in Open Doors’ first truck delivery to Romania.

1978: Contact with churches in the Middle East begins. Open Doors sponsors ‘Love Africa’.

1979: 30,000 New Testaments are delivered to Chinese Christians.

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1981: ‘Project Pearl’ sees 1,000,000 Bibles delivered to a beach in China in just one night. Thousands of waiting believers gather to receive them.

1982: Open Doors launches a seven-year campaign of prayer for the Communist bloc. (Seven years later, in 1989, the Berlin Wall falls. The Soviet Union is opened to the gospel and Christian prisoners are released.)

1985: ‘Project Crossfire’ distributes 5,000,000 pieces of Christian literature in Latin America. Thousands of young people are helped to share their faith in Christ.

1989: Open Doors delivers 1,000,000 New Testaments to Russia.

1991: A ten-year prayer campaign begins for the 10-40 window – the area of North Africa, the Middle East and Asia which includes the majority of the world’s Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists.

1992: 1,000,000 children in the former Soviet Union get their very first Bibles.

1993: Brother Andrew presents the first copy of the full Bible in Albanian to the President of Albania – a country which had once declared itself the world’s first atheist state.

1996: Study Bibles in Latin American Spanish are printed and delivered.

1997: Open Doors launches ‘Standing Strong Through the Storm’ – a training program for Christians facing persecution. (In its updated version it is still in use today.)

1998: Open Doors launches its first relief project. ‘Operation Daily Bread’ flies in food and supplies to remote areas of war-torn Southern Sudan.

1999: Open Doors’ ministry to the church in North Korea begins with the delivery of 10,000 Korean Bibles.

2000: 1,000,000 Bibles and 1,000,000 pieces of Christian literature are delivered to China, the largest annual delivery since ‘Project Pearl’.

2001: The first Open Doors Youth forum gathers to identify how to reach the next generation with the message of the Persecuted Church.

2003: Open Doors launches ‘Heart for Iraq’, delivering materials and bringing encouragement to the church in Iraq.

2005: As Open Doors celebrates its 50th anniversary, a three-year prayer chain for North Korea is launched.

2010: The ‘Right to Believe’ campaign sees over 428,000 Christians around the world sign a petition showing their support for persecuted Christians.

2013: In response to the civil war in Syria, Open Doors launches its largest relief program ever, helping Christians in Syria to survive, stay and shine.

2014: Open Doors provides vital relief aid to over 6,000 displaced families in Iraq who have been forced to flee by Islamic militants, including the so-called Islamic State.

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2015: Open Doors’ 60th anniversary. God’s smuggler is republished for a new audience and a new era.