Our History

The ministry of Open Doors began in 1955 through the call of God to one man, Brother Andrew. Today, Open Doors continues to strengthen persecuted Christians worldwide through an active team of full-time workers, volunteers, and an underground network of indigenous Christians in hostile lands.

1955 Brother Andrew makes his first missionary trip to Eastern Europe while smuggling Christian literature.
1957 Brother Andrew’s first trip smuggling Bibles to the Soviet Union in his blue VW Beetle. Over the next decade, Open Doors expands its network throughout Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.
1965 The first Open Doors team travels to China. However, they are unable to make contact with any Christians.
1967 God’s Smuggler is first published as Brother Andrew’s biography.
1978 Open Doors sponsors “Love Africa” congress in Malawi. Dozens of mission agencies and churches gather to promote a vision for reaching Africa with the Gospel. Contact with churches in the Middle East begins.
1983 A seven-year campaign for the Soviet Union begins.
1985 Project Cross Fire: five million pieces of Christian literature are distributed in Latin America to help evangelize and disciple Christian youth.
1989 Target One Million: delivery of one million New Testaments to Russia in cooperation with the Russian Orthodox Church begins.
1994 A five-day evangelistic campaign is held at Qaddafi Stadium in Pakistan at which thousands attend.
1998 In order to continue training and delivering Bibles to believers collapsing from starvation, Open Doors launches its first-ever economic relief project to fly in food and supplies to southern Sudan.
2015 2015 marked Open Doors’ 60th anniversary, in that time we have expanded to work in over 60 countries worldwide.