Open Doors Fortify engages U.S. youth

College students signing up for the Open Doors Fortify program.  (Image courtesy Open Doors Fortify via Twitter)

College students signing up for the
Open Doors Fortify program.
(Image courtesy Open Doors Fortify via Twitter)

USA (MNN) — U.S. college kids are showing their support for the Persecuted Church. A new college and youth program from Open Doors USA called “Open Doors Fortify” is off to a fast start.

“We are excited about what God has done through this new outreach to students,” says Open Doors USA College & Youth Director Kate Yates.

“There is such enthusiasm among the students I have met in the last few months. They have a passion to reach out to persecuted believers in prayer and in other tangible ways.”

At a recent youth event in Nashville, over 300 students committed to pray and advocate for persecuted Christians. Students can link arms and hearts with suffering Christians through two new Open Doors Fortfiy programs: United in Christ and Change for Change.

United in Christ allows students to encourage their fellow believers in war-torn Iraq using social media. Young people are urged to record a video message of hope and prayers for believers in Iraq, which is ranked No. 4 on the Open Doors 2014 World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians.

“Christians face severe persecution and violence in Iraq,” notes Yates. “Though there were more than 1.5 million Christians living there in 2003, Open Doors now estimates that only 330,000 believers remain.”

Once recorded, messages are posted on Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube with the hashtag #UIC2014. Open Doors organizes the distribution of posts to the proper places.

“The United in Christ outreach program sends a message of hope to Christians, especially young Christians, in Iraq,” Yates says.

An Open Doors field worker adds, “It’s heartwarming that so many young people are praying for Iraq. We can’t wait to show persecuted Christians the videos so they can see they are not forgotten by their fellow followers of Jesus.”

A second way college students can support persecuted Christians is by sending their pocket change to Open Doors.

The Change for Change campaign asks students across America to give up something they value or usually purchase for one month. Students can sacrifice coffee, soft drinks, snacks, or hobbies for a week and then contribute that money toward the ministry of Open Doors.

Supporters can send a check with the funds saved to: Open Doors USA, 1956-J University Blvd S #255, Mobile, AL 36609.

Pray that a new generation rises up to stand with the Persecuted Church. You can follow Open Doors Fortify on Twitter by searching for the handle @ODUSAFortify.