Open Doors USA leaves international group, relaunches as Global Christian Relief

Open Doors USA, the US-based arm of the global Christian persecution watchdog, has parted ways with Open Doors International and relaunched this month as Global Christian Relief.

It maintains the same board of directors and CEO, David Curry.

Meanwhile, in a separate statement, Open Doors said it will maintain a presence in the US and announced Lisa Pearce as interim CEO of its US office.

Global Christian Relief will continue to protect and encourage persecuted Christians around the world, according to a written statement from Curry, who is a member of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. It also will equip the Western church to advocate and pray for those Christians, he said.

A pop-up on the Global Christian Relief homepage states the organization changed its name to reflect “a larger vision to mobilize dedicated Christians like you to support our persecuted family.”

According to Curry’s statement, the leadership of Open Doors USA and Open Doors International began to pray about and discuss their relationship in June 2022: “How could each entity best fulfill its complementary missions and long-term strategies?” he said.

“Both boards prayerfully agreed that their respective missions would be best achieved by moving forward without a formal affiliation. Both organizations remain committed to serving the persecuted church and will continue to work independently to advocate and mobilize support and prayer for this vital cause,” Curry continued.

However, Open Doors said on its website that the organization “continues in the U.S., fully dedicated to the mission and vision of our late founder Brother Andrew to serve persecuted Christians.”

Andrew van der Bijl, known widely as Brother Andrew, founded Open Doors in 1955 to support persecuted Christians around the world. Van der Bijl died in September at age 90.

Open Doors works with churches and local partners in countries around the world to provide Bibles, Christian materials, training and advocacy for Christians who are persecuted for their faith.

The organization also releases a World Watch List every year detailing countries where Christians are most persecuted. The list will mark its 30th anniversary when Open Doors releases its 2023 report on January 18.

Pearce, the new interim CEO of the US office, has worked with Open Doors for 16 years, serving as CEO and board member for Open Doors UK and Ireland and later as chief development and advocacy officer for Open Doors International.

“We remain steadfast in doing whatever it takes to support both the visible and the underground church in the countries where it is most dangerous to live as a Christian,” she said in the message on the Open Doors website.

Open Doors’ homepage now directs users to a new US website at

A statement from Open Doors announcing Pearce as interim CEO did not name Global Christian Relief but said Curry had left Open Doors to lead a “separate unaffiliated organization.” —Religion News Service

Emily McFarlan Miller

Emily McFarlan Miller is a freelance journalist reporting on the spiritual and the supernatural. 

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