By Open Doors 27 October 2022

The Legacy Of A Bible Smuggler

Smuggling Bibles is dangerous work.

When someone smuggles Bibles into a country hostile to the Christian faith, they can be putting their freedom — and even their life — on the line. As we remember the life and legacy of our founder, Brother Andrew, we can’t help but reflect on his boldness and faith as a Bible smuggler.

Brother Andrew had many close calls over his decades of ministry. Nicknamed ‘God’s Smuggler’, he developed a trademark prayer while he smuggled Bibles into dangerous places.

“Lord, in my luggage I have Scripture I want to take to your children. When you were on earth, You made blind eyes see. Now, I pray, make seeing eyes blind. Do not let the guards see those things You do not want them to see.”

His stories from smuggling Bibles behind the Iron Curtain at the height of the Cold War encourage and remind us of the importance of delivering Bibles to those without access – even when they must be smuggled and even when the work is dangerous. Just like the time Brother Andrew approached the Romanian Border with his car packed with precious but dangerous cargo: illegal Bibles.


Image: Brother Andrew’s blue Volkswagen, used to smuggle Bibles.

Praying For A Miracle

Brother Andrew hoped the guards wouldn’t pay much attention to inspecting his car. Ahead of him, he saw the guards stop the car at the front of the line. The owners were forced to empty their car’s contents for inspection. Each car that followed had to do the same. The fourth car’s inspection even required the removal of the hubcaps and seats, and the engine pulled apart.

All Brother Andrew could do was pray: “Dear Lord, what am I going to do?”

As he prayed, a bold idea came to him. “I know that no amount of cleverness on my part can get me through this border search,” Brother Andrew prayed.

“Dare I ask for a miracle? Let me take some of the Bibles out and leave them in the open where they will be seen.”

So, when the guards ushered Brother Andrew forward, he was ready to put his trust completely in God.

“I handed [the guard] my papers and started to get out,” said Brother Andrew. “But his knee was against the door, holding it closed.”

The guard looked at Brother Andrew’s passport and abruptly waved him on without inspecting the contents of his car. God had given Brother Andrew a miracle! He safely crossed the border and was able to deliver Bibles to Christians who had no access to God’s life-giving Word.


Image: Believers reading Bibles in their own language.

The Legacy Of Bible Smuggling

Open Doors is the movement that Brother Andrew later inspired. A movement that has since seen Bibles smuggled into the most dangerous countries for over 65 years. And this crucial work is just as important as ever.

Persecuted Christians around the world need Bibles to nourish their souls and transform their lives.

They need God’s Word to speak hope and give them strength in the face of persecution. They, like all of us, need the Word of God to give them life, just as Jesus tells us in Matthew 4:4b:

“Man shall not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

Brother Andrew encouraged many with his words of wisdom:

“The Bible is full of ordinary people who went to impossible places and did wondrous things simply because they decided to follow Jesus.”


Image: Brother Andrew with Bibles from all over the world.

You can be part of this legacy. Please donate today to the Brother Andrew Memorial fund. You’ll be part of helping persecuted Christians receive bibles, discipleship and practical support as they live in the most dangerous places to be a Christian.

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In the most dangerous places, persecuted Christians are desperate to get their hands on their very own Bible, many for the first time. Will you help them?

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