Read time: 1 minute 51 seconds
In a move that has caused confusion for many, Open Doors USA is now Global Christian Relief.
As reported by Christianity Today, the new entity born out of the U.S. branch of the international relief organization will be "retaining its board, staff, CEO and sizable social media accounts under a new brand."
Open Doors was first founded by "God's Smuggler," Andrew "Anne" van der Bijl, aka Brother Andrew, in 1955. He became internationally known for his smuggling of Bibles behind the "Iron Curtain" and the miracles that enabled his missions work.
With the forming of the Global Christian Relief organization, Open Doors International will still have a U.S. division helmed by CEO Lisa Pearce.
"The U.S. is one of 24 countries where we have established national bases to mobilize prayer and raise awareness and support for Open Doors' global work strengthening persecuted Christians," Pearce said. "Open Doors will continue this work in the U.S. for our many critical field projects, including through the launch of the 2023 World Watch List on Jan. 18th.
"Connection with persecuted Christians is a blessing to the wider church," she said. "There are 360 million persecuted Christians in the world today, and for their sake, we hope and pray that every ministry finds effective ways to serve them."
Former Open Doors USA CEO David Curry insisted this split is not due to any bad blood between the organizations, but is instead an opportunity to pursue different evangelical missions.
"It was a joint discussion. There is enormous respect—Brother Andrew was my mentor and friend," Curry said. Discussing the impact that ODI has had when working with the persecuted church around the world, Curry insisted, "Nobody does it better."
In an interview with CT, Curry explained some of the different avenues GCR hopes to help Christians who are being persecuted worldwide.
"When you look at China's ability to monitor Zoom church, social connection, facial recognition ... we've got to crowdsource with the smartest minds out there," he said. "This is becoming a technological challenge as much as a censorship issue.
"We have a handful of ministries—we need a thousand," Curry said.
James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.
To contact us or to submit an article, click here.
Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.