The US wing of the religious freedom charity Open Doors has been thrown into turmoil after CEO Dr David Curry announced it was rebranding with a different name and would no longer be associated with the global movement.
Now called Global Christian Relief, the group says it is looking to grow its output.
On it's website, the group states: "It started with a question: 'In the next 50 years, what kind of organization is needed to address the exponentially growing persecution of Christians?'.
"As we prayed about the next steps for our organisation, we came up with the answer and our driving focus: Create the world's most extensive, covert network serving persecuted Christians.
"To do this, we need a large vision to mobilise dedicated Christians to support our persecuted family in new and life-changing ways that will expand God’s Kingdom for the next 50 years."
The group has referred to the move as a change of name, something which has been disputed by Open Doors.
The global body says Open Doors USA will continue under a new CEO.
Lisa Pearce will lead a new team having previously served as CEO of Open Doors UK.
In a statement, she said: “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.
“We have unprecedented opportunities to serve our most persecuted brothers and sisters in the year ahead, thanks to the trust we have built with secret networks in Field countries through 65 years of faithful service.”
In further clarification a spokesperson for Open Doors UK said: "Lisa Pearce has been named the interim CEO of Open Doors in the US. This follows the departure of former CEO David Curry, who is now heading up a separate organisation that is not affiliated with Open Doors.
"Open Doors continues in the US, fully dedicated to the mission and vision of our late founder Brother Andrew to serve persecuted Christians. This includes a renewed focus on connecting the U.S. church with our persecuted family around the world.
"Open Doors’ global ministry in over 70 Field countries and 24 support countries remains unchanged. The US office is one of 24 national offices raising prayer, awareness and support for Open Doors’ global work strengthening persecuted Christians in more than 70 countries around the world.
"Open Doors was launched in 1955 by Brother Andrew, who was known as 'God's smuggler' for his work getting Bibles into countries which banned Christianity.
It now seeks to support persecuted believers across the world and is known for its World Watch List which documents the worst countries in the world to live as a Christian.
Premier has reached out to Global Christian Relief for comment.