Our History

From 1955 to now!

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.

Brother Andrew's VW Beetle - Open Doors

Our Story

Where do you join us
on this timeline?

Brother Andrew, Open Doors founder
Brother Andrew, Open Doors founder

Bold Beginnings With Brother Andrew

1955

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.

Brother Andrew, Open Doors founder
Brother Andrew's VW Beetle - Open Doors

An Iconic VW Beetle

1956

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.”

Monitoring Persecution

1970

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.

Project Pearl - Open Doors delivers 1 million Bibles into China

Open Doors Australia Begins

1978

Dean and Becky Keaney move from America to Australia to start the Open Doors ministry in Australia with the purpose of taking Bibles into China.

Project Pearl - Open Doors delivers 1 million Bibles into China - Tugboat Michael
Project Pearl Bible - Open Doors delivers 1 million Bibles into China

One Million Bibles in One Night

1981

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

1999

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.

Mike Gore, Open Doors
Mike Gore, Open Doors

Mike Gore becomes CEO

2015

With almost 10 years of extensive field experience, Mike Gore has been chased by the secret police in North Africa, smuggled Bibles to Muslim background believers, and speaks at conferences and churches all over the world sharing the message of the persecuted church.

65 Years On

2020

Open Doors celebrates its 65th anniversary. The ministry works in over 70 countries worldwide providing discipleship, emergency relief, and community development.

Partnering With The Australian Church

2022 and beyond

Open Doors partners with some of Australia’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.

Get Involved

Do you want to get involved in the Open Doors ministry? Click below to find out how you can help the persecuted church today.

Get Involved