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!

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!

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.

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.

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)

 

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!