Book Reviews: Baptism & Confirmation & Patterns for Baptism

Book Reviews Baptism and Confirmation Church House Publishing, 2022 (ISBN: 9780715123522, 468pp, £40) Patterns for Baptism Church House Publishing, 2022 (ISBN: 9780715123492, 392pp, £25) These handsome volumes are the latest additions to Common Worship, the Church of...

The Diverse Excellencies of Jesus Christ: Gospel-Driven Anglicanism

Gospel-Driven Anglicanism By the Revd Dr Mark Pickles The Diverse Excellencies of Jesus Christ  The American Theologian and Pastor, Jonathan Edwards (1703 -1758), once preached a sermon entitled “The Admirable Conjunction of Diverse Excellencies in Jesus Christ”. The...

The Cancelling of the Creator

The Cancelling of the Creator The headline from a national newspaper popped up on my phone: “Daniel Radcliffe is surely the world’s most ungrateful man”. It’s not a title many would be scrambling to win for themselves, but the opinion-piece made the case. Daniel...

Melville-Knox Christian School Opens in Aberdeen

Melville-Knox Christian School Opens in Aberdeen Melville-Knox Christian School Aberdeen officially opened on Monday 7th November after years of prayer, planning and organisation. We give thanks to the Lord that we have been able to reach this significant milestone;...

Barnabas Report: At Least 21 Christians Killed in Mozambique

Barnabas Report At Least 21 Christians Killed in Mozambique During October At least 21 Christians have been killed by Islamist extremists in violent attacks throughout October in northern Mozambique. Jihadists set fire to a church building and several houses in the...

Sanctuary Foundation Offers Free Advent Resource

Sanctuary Foundation Offers Free Advent Resource  Sanctuary Foundation has been aiding those trying to offer assistance for those fleeing the war in Ukraine through its, “Homes for Ukraine” scheme.  The charity has been serving as a liaison by resourcing hosts and...

Annual Clive West Memorial Lecture Set for Belfast

Annual Clive West Trust Lecture Set for Belfast The 2022 Clive West Trust Lecture will take place on Thursday, 22 November at St Nicholas’ Church on the Lisburn Road in Belfast at 19:30. This year’s featured speaker is the Revd Dr Tim Ward.  Ward earned his PhD from...

Church of England Council Rejects Croft’s Position

Church of England Evangelical Council Rejects Croft’s Position In a press statement following the pronouncements of Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford, the Church of England Evangelical Council repudiated the departure of biblical teaching advocated by Croft. It said,...

On Transubstantiation: Reformation Anglicanism

Reformation Anglicanism On Transubstantiation By the Revd Canon Chuck Collins Transubstantiation became the official doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church at the Fourth Lateran Council that began, November 11, 1215. The Council of Trent in 1551 went on to confirm the...

Oxford Good Stewards Trust Announced in Response to Bishop of Oxford’s Revisionism

St Paul’s Banbury, Oxford Answers Bishop and Announces  The Oxford Good Stewards Trust The Revd Dan McGowan, Vicar of St Paul’s, Banbury in Oxford Diocese has answered Bishop Croft’s revisionist declarations about same-sex matters and announced the formation of The...

Brother Andrew Dies at 94


Brother Andrew Dies at 94

Anne van der Bijl, known more widely as Brother Andrew, “God’s Smuggler” died on 27 September 2022.  He was 94 years of age.

“Brother Andrew” became famous after he published his autobiography in January 1964.  His work of getting bibles into the former Soviet Union caused the founding of Open Doors, a ministry to persecuted Christians around the world.  His book, “God’s Smuggler” has sold over 10 million copies in English and many more in other languages.

Henrietta Blyth, CEO of Open Doors UK and Ireland said, “When Brother Andrew started his ministry, little did he imagine that within 60 years it would embrace millions of Christians worldwide. He leaves behind a remarkable legacy.”

It has been said that when Brother Andrew found himself at a border crossing he would quietly pray, “Lord, when you were on earth, you made blind eyes see.  Now, I pray, make seeing eyes blind.”

The official Open Doors obituary follows.

Brother Andrew was born on 11 May 1928 in Sint Pancras, the Netherlands. He joined the colonial army of the Dutch East Indies, and converted to Christianity during a period of convalescence, where he spent much of his time reading the Bible.

After receiving missionary training in Scotland, Brother Andrew travelled to Poland in 1955 to participate in a Communist youth rally. He travelled there with a suitcase full of Christian tracts. Arriving there, he discovered that churches behind the Iron Curtain were isolated and in need of encouragement.

His border crossings in a bright blue Volkswagen Beetle stuffed with illicit Bibles in 1957 is recorded in his autobiography, God’s Smuggler, which has inspired and encouraged millions of readers since. 

After the fall of the Iron Curtain, Brother Andrew turned his attention to the Islamic World, saying that the rapid spread of Islam posed the greatest challenge yet to the Christian church worldwide. He travelled to the Middle East and South Asia and had private meetings with leaders of several Islamic fundamentalist groups. However, Brother Andrew preached against retaliation – repeatedly declaring ‘I sincerely love all Muslims’ as a counter to the rising Islamophobia in the west.

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands knighted Brother Andrew in 1993. In 1997, he received the World Evangelical Alliance’s Religious Liberty Award, recognising his lifetime of service to suffering Christians and his passion for evangelical ministry.

But perhaps the recognition that pleased him most was the copies of KGB reports, which he obtained after the fall of the Iron Curtain. There were more than 150 pages about him, detailing his work in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Despite this, they were still unable to stop his work.

During Easter 2018, the then-Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt wrote to Brother Andrew, saying, “I would like to express my personal thanks for the extraordinary and courageous support you have provided to the persecuted Church throughout the years.

Brother Andrew’s was married to Corry for 59 years, until her death in January 2018. He is survived by five children and eleven grandchildren.