Meet the Persecuted

Real stories of real people in various parts of the world who are persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ.


Please take a moment to read their stories and then pray for them!


*Some stories do not have pictures of our Brothers/Sisters. This is done for their safety and protection.

Finding Christ through a dream and a friend

     The following story was shared with us by Justina, one of our contacts in Egypt. She was able to sit down with Badra, who you will read about, and share her story with us. She has asked that we pray for her to be a good encourager to this young lady and other Muslim background Believers she encounters.

     Badra grew up in Sudan. Her father is a very wealthy businessman. He owns a beautiful villa where Badra lives with her brothers and sisters. Private guards surround their large estate, and each of the children has their own car with their own private driver. Badra was raised Muslim, yet because of her dad’s work, in which he travels to many different countries, he is more of a moderate Muslim, unlike Badra’s uncles who are all fanatical Muslims and even Sheiks (a Sheikh is a spiritual leader of Muslims).

     From an early age, Badra knew she didn’t like Islam. She saw how her uncles lived and thought they were very hypocritical. “They are Sheiks and do their prayers, preaching, and other religious duties, yet they also are adulterous and drunkards, that cheat on their wives, and do many other bad things”.

When Badra was old enough, she was able to attend a nearby college. One of her professors assigned her a research project to compare the differences between women’s rights in Islam and Christianity. Badra believes that her professor thought she would see many negatives on the side of Christianity, and a better view of the Islamic side. She fully committed to this project. She studied many books, including the Bible, and discovered that in the Christian religion women have many rights. When looking into women’s rights in Islam, she couldn’t find any. Badra wrote about her findings along with her opinions. When she presented her paper to her professor, he became angry. He yelled at her and tore up her papers. He demanded she never show her research to anyone, and she must rewrite it and say nothing negative about Islam.

     After such an extreme encounter with her professor, Badra said, “I started to feel there is something very wrong to make the professor become so angry. I questioned why he got so upset about my research. While struggling through these thoughts I started to read my Bible more, and God started to work on my heart.”

     At the same time, “Mary”, a Christian, came into Badra’s life. Badra over time, came to admire Mary. She said, “She was a really great young girl, the way she dresses, talks, behaves and everything was really proper and nice.” They would meet regularly, and Badra noticed that her own life was changing. She was no longer going to clubs, drinking, and doing other “bad things”.  Ther friends began to ask her what changed in her life, but she was still Muslim and was unsure how to let people know about her new Christian friend.

     Mary stopped showing up to class, so Badra decided to visit her at her home. Mary’s sister was there and informed Badra that “Mary went home to heaven”. This was a shock to Badra. She found herself crying and depressed. She didn’t feel she had anyone she could talk to about it, but she remembered that Mary loved going to church. In hopes of making Mary “happy in heaven”, Badra decided to go to Mary’s church. That day, the pastor was talking about sin and repentance. She said she didn’t understand all of what he was saying, but she felt peace like she had never known before in her life. Badra began attending the church regularly, and one night she had a dream in which she saw Jesus and He told her to “follow Me”. She shared her dream with the Pastor, but the pastor told her that he did not want any problems with her family or the government.

     Before long, one of Badra’s uncles saw her coming out of the church. He informed her father. Badra said, “They brought me in the middle, between them and beat me…” After the beating, her father said, “We trust you, and we know you will not do that again”. He was wrong. Badra continued to go to church and grow in her relationship with God.

One day, Badra’s dad walked into her room and found her reading the Bible. He was so angry he beat her again. He then had her locked in the basement where her uncle abused her. He beat her with an iron rod, burned her, stabbed her with nails, and harmed her in many other ways. Her body is marred with many scars, and she still suffers pain throughout her body.

     Badra’s family decided to kill her, but because it was during the month of Ramadan (the Islamic holy month), they had to wait. They left her locked in the basement throughout Ramadan. She said, “I stayed 40 days like Jesus, with no food or drinks.” She was given a little water every week, but she exclaimed, “God helped me to survive”.

The last night of Ramadan, during the feast, Badra learned she could open the door! She ran! No one saw her except her younger brother who simply waved goodbye from the balcony of his room. She ran to the church she had been attending. Once again, the pastor told her that he could not help her, but she was able to connect with a friend. This friend let her stay the night, and with help from many people, she was able to acquire a new passport, a new ID, and then escape to Egypt.

     For the time being, Badra is safe. Her dad has a lot of money and influence because of his job. He filed reports throughout Egypt and Sudan stating that Badra has a very serious mental illness and if anyone sees her, they should call him immediately. He has shared this report with hospitals and airports. Badra can’t go anywhere, but she feels fine staying in Egypt. She said, “My dad took every penny, all my inheritance, but God is good!”

     Badra’s body is scarred, and she lives with a lot of pain, yet her smile and the joy she gives off is nothing short of a miracle. She once was rich, and now has nothing, she lived in a fancy villa, and now has no home of her own, but she has Jesus.

     Join us in praying for Badra. Pray that her needs are met, and her relationship with God deepens. Pray also for Justina, for wisdom, guidance, and protection. Pray that as she continues to work in this country, God will provide opportunities and finances.

Even the young are persecuted

     Adam is an 11-year-old boy whose family has been greatly persecuted over the years because of their faith in Christ. His father is in a wheelchair, which makes life even more difficult. Last spring, at the end of the school year, Adam’s class was given the assignment to write an essay on how their family celebrates Ramadan (the Islamic month of fasting and prayer). When Adam handed in his essay, the paper was blank. Adam’s teacher asked why he hadn’t written anything. Adam answered, “I am a Christian. My father and mother are also Christians. I don’t believe in the holiness of Ramadan, either its religious traditions or anything related to Islam. I believe in Jesus Christ, that He is our one true God!”    

     After Adam’s courageous response, the teachers and school administration held a meeting to discuss his case. They decided to invite Adam’s father to the school to discuss the issue. At the school, the teacher informed him what had happened. She also asked many questions, and insulted, and disgraced him for not raising his son in the Islamic tradition.

     Adam’s father remained silent, waiting for the teacher to finish. He then replied that his family is not Muslim, that they are indeed Christians, and believe Jesus Christ to be The Truth. He explained that his son did not write the required essay because he is a Christian and does not celebrate Ramadan. He also reminded the school officials his son was doing excellent in all his studies not related to Islam. The teacher agreed that Adam is an excellent student and she admitted that she had searched for something that would allow her to expel Adam from school but was unable to find anything. She asked if Adam would consider writing something about Ramadan to help her avoid humiliation. Adam’s father replied to the teacher that he had raised Adam to make his own decisions, but the teacher could certainly ask Adam to write about Ramadan. He would support whatever Adam decided.

     We haven’t yet heard what Adam decided or what the school ended up doing, but we do know that this family faced a very difficult situation with a strong testimony of their faith in Jesus Christ! We will give you an update as soon as we are able.

An Opportunity on the way to Church

     Ali is a 53-year-old doorman who Brother ‘S’ has encountered every Sunday on his way to church for the past six months. Initially, Brother ‘S’ would greet him casually and Ali would return the greeting. Eventually, Brother ‘S’ introduced himself and shook Ali’s hand. Each Sunday since, Brother ‘S’ has asked Ali about his and his family’s well-being. The Lord has given Brother ‘S’ a heart of compassion toward Ali. 

     

     One Sunday, Ali was waiting for Brother ‘S’ in the front of the building where he works. He knew precisely when Brother ‘S’ would pass by, but this week Brother ‘S’ was late. Ali said he had been waiting for hours and asked why Brother ‘S’ was late. Slightly perplexed, Brother ‘S’ explained and asked if everything was okay? Ali began to share from his heart. He said Brother ‘S’ treats him kindly and in a way that is different from how others treat him. The humble and loving way Brother ‘S’ greets him and asks about his family and his circumstances encourages him. It is a kind of loving care that he has never felt from anyone. Ali mentioned that the people he works for, who see him daily, do not care for him and they treat him as if he were not good enough for them to greet. Being a doorman is a very humble job. Ali exclaimed to Brother ‘S’ “You come, greet me, and show me how much you care for me!” Then he said, “The smile that I see, the light that surrounds you when you come. Let me tell you this, you will be in paradise!” Brother ‘S’ asked him, “How about you? Will you be with me in Paradise?” Ali did not know, and Brother ‘S’ told him it would be shameful if he were to be in Heaven without Ali! 

     

     Brother ‘S’ shared the story of God’s love for everyone with Ali. He spoke the message of salvation, from Genesis to the end! Ali had tears in his eyes, and his lips trembled words of praise! In the end, Brother ‘S’ told Ali he should not feel forced to follow and believe in what Brother ‘S’ believes. Rather, he encouraged Ali to set aside a quiet time, bow down and ask God directly to reveal His truth. He then told Ali if he was interested in the Gospel, which Brother ‘S’ believes and shared from, he would have a copy ready to give to him. 

     

     Brother ‘S’ said, “I still meet my friend Ali coming and going to church. I am not sure if he has decided to follow Christ. Still, he is passionately open to hear about the love of Christ, about the humbleness of Christ. His eyes are opened to the love of Christians for all people, regardless of their colour, race, academic level, or social status!” 

      

     Please pray that Ali would come to know Jesus as his Lord and Savior. In addition pray for Brother ‘S’ to be safe as he shares his faith and builds the Body of Christ in Morocco.

Tested Faith

     Brother Samuel in India has asked for prayer for two of our sisters: “Amy”-who is the mother, and “Kaya” who is her daughter. Amy, previously a Hindu, became a Christian about 15 years ago in Samuel’s church. She has two daughters, and their father committed suicide when the girls were very young. 

     

     Amy’s older daughter was married after finishing her 12th year of school. Kaya, her younger daughter, managed to graduate from a Hindu college with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. This degree provides students with a wide range of managerial skills and understanding in areas such as finance, accounting, taxation, and management. Considering Kaya had suffered a brain illness, this was an amazing accomplishment! After graduating, Kaya interviewed for a job at the same college where she earned her degree. She was offered the position and asked to come in and complete some formalities before starting. When asked if she was a Muslim, she told them she was a Christian. Upon hearing this, they refused to hire her. This is not an uncommon practice. Though India’s constitution states they are a secular nation which protects freedom of religion, religious minorities still suffer from persecution and discrimination. 

     

     Prior to Kaya being turned down for this job, Amy had lost hers. She had been working as a “helper” with household chores in people’s homes. One day she suffered an accident and broke her femur. She is now unable to work, and walking has become extremely difficult for her. It has been a time of testing their faith.

     

     Kaya now has a job working in a small candy shop. While it does provide some income, it is not what her education deserves. Samuel keeps in contact and helps when he can. Please pray for Kaya, Amy, and all our brothers and sisters living in India.

Aiden, Faithful Servant

     Aiden is a 74-year-old farmer. He has been a Believer in Jesus Christ for more than 30 years. He was first introduced to the Gospel through a radio program. Today he lives in a mountain village in rural Morocco. He is a true Believer in Christ and his family bears witness to the depth of his faith. It is not always easy being a Christian in a small village. Though most of the community is Muslim, Aiden is still respected by many. He does not hesitate to share his faith with all who ask.

       

     Our dear friend, Brother ‘S’, stays in contact with Aiden, and over the last two to three years he has noticed that Aiden’s eyes were getting weak; he was gradually losing his sight. News Service 2000 was able to pay for Aiden to visit an optometrist, and for him to get medical treatment and receive glasses. What a blessing for Aiden to be able to see clearly again!

     

     Please be in prayer for the challenges that Aiden faces and pray for the needs of his family. Aiden had not been able to work because of his eyesight, perhaps now he will be able to return to farming. Through all of this, his faith in God as his provider has remained strong.

Ahmed m, "Which way should I take?"

     For new Believers who have recently left Islam, life presents many difficulties. They must decide how to live out their new faith in Jesus Christ among friends and family who believe they are Muslim. Ahmed M is one such recent Believer and he needs your prayers.


     Ahmed is a 48-year-old man. He was a religious Muslim, until this past year! Our dear friend Brother S recently shared how this came about. Here it is in his words:


     While hanging out with the prayer team in a park near the sea, we fortuitously met Ahmed. While talking we got to know each other more. Then I started to meet with him weekly. After we had met several times, I thanked God for giving me the opportunity to give him a Holy Bible. I shared with him how the creation started, and that the eternal way, truth, and life is only through Jesus.


     After 5 weeks, Ahmed and I were in a public Square here in my city, a square that has many roads connected to it, and he said to me: “I have no idea which way I should take…”. And I asked him to pray to God about it. Ahmed spent that week praying to God to guide him truthfully and righteously.


     When we next met, Ahmed burst into tears saying: "God showed me the truth, and God told me that the Holy Bible is the Word of God!!! And that the God of the Bible is the True and Eternal God!!!". I asked him if he was sure, and if he was ready and willing to surrender his life to Jesus? And he said “YES!!!” And indeed, we prayed the prayer of redemption, and he gave his life to Jesus, and confessed that he was a sinner and that he wanted to follow Jesus all his life!

Then I asked Ahmed how old he was, and he answered 48 years old. I told him: "48 years in the flesh, but today, is your first day in your new life, today you are born again in Jesus Christ!”


     I made sure he understood that the road with Jesus Christ does not have a carpet filled with flowers ready for him to walk on, but the road will be filled with challenges, problems, prison, and persecution. He answered happily: "I am ready to follow Jesus Christ, and give my life eternally to Jesus, despite all the challenges I might face!"

Without realizing it, after we finished praying, we started to hug cheerfully and happily together. We forgot about the restrictions given by our government to protect us from Covid-19, which prohibits us from hugging and any other physical greetings. Despite that, we hugged and prayed and were filled with joy and happiness.

I kept repeating chapter 15 of Luke, verse 7: "Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents…"


     Brother Ahmed still wears the Islamic Jilbab (traditional dress), still lives with his religious Muslim family, and lives among an Islamic Society! He will face a lot of problems… Pray for Brother Ahmed, that God will fill him with His wisdom and patience during that journey. Pray for wisdom and patience and a secure faith for Brother Ahmed, so he can be a blessing to everyone he meets!

Adam, A voice in the wilderness

     Adam is a gentle man with a wife and six children. He lives a simple life in a small community far from any large cities. He has been a leader in the local church for years and is a critical part of the Christian community there. Through donations from our supporters, News Service 2000 has been able to provide Adam with finances to help provide food and medical supplies to Christian families in his area.


     Adam lives in Western Africa, in a country where it is a crime, punishable by death, to convert to Christianity or try to convert a Muslim to Christianity. This country considers its population to be 100% Muslim. That means that any Christian native to this country must have converted.

 

     Brother ‘S’, who lives in a country that is about 99% Muslim, describes it like this: “Believers here must persevere in regular persecution from society and the authorities. We must take care before, during, and after our house church meetings. We must gather without fear and with wisdom as we worship the Lord and study His Word together. These challenges are part of our daily lives in a country where laws prevent us from living out our faith freely.”

 

     Adam and other Christian leaders were shown in a video that was distributed via social media. The message was calling viewers to “Go and persecute Adam and all the other leaders in the church.” This sparked persecution towards Believers. Because of Adam’s faith and his leadership in the local church, he refuses to leave his community. Adam wants to set an example for other Believers and among church leaders during this persecution. His prayer is that he will have an opportunity to proclaim the Gospel and testify about his faith in Christ. He hopes that through this situation there might be an opportunity for government leaders to change the way they view Christianity. He prays that one day Believers will be able to practice and share their faith freely in his home country.


     Since we originally shared this story, Adam has reported that the persecution has decreased. He continues to minister to the community around him and continues to trust that God will protect him and his family. He is aware though, that God’s will may lead him home to heaven at any time.


(Pictured to the right is Adam and another Brother in Christ Baptizing a new Believer)

 

Brahan

I first met ‘Brahan’ when I was visiting the Cave Churches in Cairo, Egypt. He had left Islam and had become a Christian. His clothes were ragged, his sandals well worn, but his demeanor was vibrant. He exuded the joy of Jesus. He even shared some of the special Easter bread with me. He still needs our prayers. Here is a recap of his story for those of you who have never met him in our Prayer Letters.                      -- Dr. Pat


     ‘Brahan’ started examining the Christian faith after seeing Muslims kill Christians outside of a church on Christmas Eve. He wondered why Muslims were killing innocents as they were doing nothing but engaging in their worship. So he began seeking information about Christianity on the Internet and eventually converted to Christianity. As a result of his conversion, Brahan’s neighbors harassed and humiliated him. His Muslim family turned against him telling the police that he was a traitor to Islam, punishable by death according to Islamic law. He was soon arrested and put into jail, where he was tortured with electric shocks to his ear lobes, nose, lips, fingertips, and other sensitive areas. One severe beating fractured his skull resulting in permanent brain damage. Had he agreed to turn back to Islam, the tortures would have stopped, but he refused to deny Jesus Christ. Finally, as he was nearing death, the prison guards threw him out on the street. Since his release, Brahan has struggled. He has no support from his Muslim family. 

     

     Because of injuries he sustained while in jail (he walks with great difficulty, his hands and arms shake constantly, and he has memory problems, and talks haltingly) he has been unable to hold down a job. He is extremely poor. Brahan is living in Garbage City where he remains in hiding from his family for fear they will kill him. Recently, our co-worker, Pastor Jack noticed that Brahan was wearing a pair of very worn slippers instead of shoes. Brahan does receive some funding from a generous News Service 2000 donor, but by the time he buys food, clothing, and other necessities, visits doctors for his infirmities, and pays rent, he has precious little left. Therefore, Pastor Jack took him to buy some new, much needed shoes. Though Brahan continues to remain in hiding, he is grateful for the help he has received through your prayers and gifts.


Blind Women of Sudan

     Her name is Akoe Deng, she is one of more than 5 million refugees from Sudan who have fled to Egypt due to persecution and war within their own country. She has been completely blind for many years because of an illness she suffered when she was young. When our contact, Emily, first met Akoe two years ago, they brought her to a doctor to see if there was anything that could be done for her blindness. The doctor said there was no hope for her to regain her vision. He also said that, sadly, just one tablet given when she was ill would have prevented her from becoming blind. Akoe broke down crying in the doctor’s office, she said, “I want to be able to see where I am going!”


     For two years, Emily has been faithfully visiting Akoe. Within that first year Akoe became a Believer! Christ became the light in her dark world. The True Light in her heart. However, there is more to her story. You see, due to her blindness, she is dependent upon other refugees for everything. During these two years Akoe has been moved from family to family. Due to the lack of food, clothing, and other resources it is difficult for families to take on additional responsibilities. In spite of these many difficulties, God has used Akoe in amazing ways. Each family that has sheltered Akoe during the past year and a half has heard about Jesus and has seen the Light that shines from her. Emily has visited every home Akoe has lived in and together they have shared the Gospel with each family. Many Sudanese have heard about the love of Jesus Christ because of their willingness to provide shelter to the blind woman from Sudan.

Mark, Standing Strong in the Storm

     Over the past few months, Brother ‘S’ has had the opportunity to disciple a new Believer, a former Muslim, who we will refer to as ‘Mark’. Mark is extremely excited about his faith and each week has great questions about the Bible and what he is reading. From their first few meetings, Mark has been eager to share his faith with his family and friends. Recently, he asked to be baptized. Brother ‘S’ replied, “Are you sure you want to take this step in your faith? Are you sure you want to commit your life to Christ, no matter what it may cost?” Immediately Mark answered he was ready, and they began to plan

the details for his baptism celebration. As the planned baptism celebration drew near, Brother ‘S’, Mark, and fellow believers met for their usual church gathering. It was a blessing to worship, pray, and study the Word together. After the meeting, Brother ‘S’ felt he should call Mark to see if he had made it home. He tried many times, but Mark did not answer. The next day, Mark called Brother ‘S’ from a new phone number. He wanted to meet with Brother ‘S’ to tell him something important. When they got together, Mark told Brother ‘S’ that after the church meeting he had been mugged. A group of men took his phone and wallet. He went to the police to declare the crime and was surprised when the police officers said, “We’ve been thinking about you. We were going to be coming to visit you soon at your home.” They led Mark into an office and made him wait. After some time, an officer came in and asked Mark, “How was your church meeting this evening?” He proceeded to ask Mark many questions about his life and faith. Without being given a reason, Mark was placed in handcuffs, taken to a cell in the basement, and forced to stay there overnight. He was not officially registered at the police station, and they refused to let him call his family. The police attempted to intimidate Mark by hitting him and insulting him. He did not sleep all night because he was wondering what they were going to do to him. The next day he was brought back upstairs for further interrogation. He was shown pictures of other Believers, the location of discipleship meetings and church gatherings. They asked him questions about national Believers and foreign Believers in the city. Mark kept asking

them, “Why am I being interrogated? I came here to report that my phone and wallet were stolen.” They then asked Mark to sign a statement indicating that Brother ‘S’ was the one who shared the Gospel and led him to faith in Christ. Mark refused to sign the statement and continued asking why they were holding him. Eventually, when they saw that he would not cooperate, they allowed him to leave. When Brother ‘S’ met with Mark he could see that Mark was clearly shaken. Brother ‘S’ shared his own similar experience and the stories of many other Believers who have faced these challenges. This greatly encouraged Mark. When he was asked “Do you still want to continue to gather with the church? Do you still want to be baptized this week?” Mark confidently answered, “I am ready to die with Christ!