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Brother Andrew, ‘God’s Smuggler’ and Founder of Open Doors, Dies at 94

Anne van der Bijl, better known as Brother Andrew, died at the age 94 on September 27 in Hardervijk, Netherlands.

Known for his book God’s Smuggler, the Christian missionary smuggled Bibles through the Iron Curtain to share the Gospel with Eastern Europeans under Communist regimes. Yugoslavia and Hungary were some of his first trips in the 1950s.

A former soldier fighting in Indonesia, he became a Christian as he read the Bible after being wounded in the battlefield. He later studied theology in Glasgow (Scotland) and started support to Christian leaders in Eastern Europe.

His work set the foundation for Open Doors, an organization now supporting persecuted Christians in around 70 countries.

Brother Andrew chaired its committee until 1995. He visited over 120 countries to encourage Christians living under pressure. In 1993, he was named Knight by the Queen of Netherlands.

Open Doors now “helps millions worldwide, providing emergency relief, training and trauma counseling as well as secret Bibles and Christian literature.” Its most-known initiative is the annual World Watch List of the 50 countries in the world where it is most difficult to be a Christian.

CEO Dan Ole Shani, said: “He lived for Christ and has died in Christ. We remember his family at this time and extend our deepest condolences to them all. We pray for God to comfort and strengthen them with his love.”

Brother Andrew’s wife, Corry, had died in 2018. They are survived by 5 children and 11 grandchildren.

Editor’s note: This article was republished from Evangelical Focus under a Creative Commons license.

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Faithfully Magazine is a fresh, bold and exciting news and culture publication that covers issues, conversations and events impacting Christian communities of color.


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