What are the most dangerous countries for the persecuted Christian? David Curry, CEO of Open Doors—legacy of the book God Smuggle—shares what we can learn from oppressed Christians across the world, immediate steps you can take to help, and how Bible smuggling plays into it all.
Dr. Jeremiah Johnston discusses the persecuted Church throughout the world with David Curry, president and CEO of Open Doors. The ministry began through a man known as “Brother Andrew” who smuggled Bibles into regions hostile to Christianity.
“We want people to have freedoms and to have a Bible and to decide what they think,” Curry explains. “It makes for a wide-ranging ministry because we’re in 60 countries-plus that have high levels of restriction, and we’re trying to answer the question of what the Church needs in order to be salt and light.”
Johnston and Curry reflect on President Trump’s address to the 74th Assembly of the United Nations in September 2019. Curry confirms the statistic that approximately 250 million people live in areas in which they are persecuted.
“The reality remains this president is speaking out forcibly. Never in my knowledge has a US president spoken at the UN about religious liberty. It is a real issue right now,” Curry says. “It just so happens that Christians are the largest group that is persecuted for their faith.”
Curry illustrates the life of a Christian in North Korea, for example: “Many followers of Jesus Christ in North Korea – if they’re caught with a Bible, sharing about Jesus, singing a song – at a minimum they probably spend the rest of their life in prison, and sometimes worse.”
Curry is inspired by the faithfulness of such believers who remain steadfast, and even joyful. “What I have, they need, but what they’ve learned, I need,” he says.
While many Christians in the West remain unaware of the plight of other members of the Body of Christ, Curry and Johnston invite them to become involved through prayer, giving, volunteering, advocating, and even writing letters of encouragement.
“You can be part of it,” Curry says. “From the very spiritual to the very practical, there’s a lot to do. I stay encouraged because I see a lot of answers to prayer. I know the people and I am excited about what Jesus is doing.”
David Curry is president and CEO of Open Doors. The organization helps further the Gospel message around the world and assists persecuted believers.