Christian woman in trouble with Muslim family

By August 2, 2016

Middle East (MNN) — In some areas of the world, following Jesus means incurring the wrath of family and community. A still-unfolding situation in the Middle East comes as a critical prayer request.

Todd Nettleton of Voice of the Martyrs says, “We received last week an urgent request for prayer from one of our contacts living in a Muslim nation. A female university student whom he had contact with who was a Christian suddenly broke off contact. She suddenly kind of disappeared.”

Since then, the contact has learned that the young woman is under heavy surveillance from her family. Upon learning that she was a Christian, they forced her to their mosque and made her break her engagement with her Christian fiancé.

She is now waiting for her father, who is currently out of the country, to return and decide how she will be punished.

Photo courtesy of Voice of the Martyrs.

(Photo courtesy of Voice of the Martyrs)

Nettleton says, “She’s very concerned about what happens when he comes home.”

Sadly, this woman’s story is just one of thousands.

In strict, traditional Muslim cultures, individuals turning to Jesus will face pressure from families if they are not cut off completely.

“For someone in your family to leave Islam and become a Christian is a shame, not only on that person, but it’s a shame on your entire family,” Nettleton explains.

They must take care of the problem in order to restore honor to the family. Sometimes this might even result in murder, something evidenced in several recent news stories.

According to CNN, a young Pakistani woman was reportedly strangled by her brother last month for bringing shame on her family through her social media posts.

While the shame culture does occasionally drive people to murder, Nettleton says it isn’t as big of a deal for a woman to be killed as it is a man.

Strict rules starve the soul

In some of the strictest Muslim communities in the world, the Gospel message is like fresh rain falling on parched ground.

“One of the great things about the Gospel is that message of salvation, that message of love.”

Nettleton explains that the god of Islam is a rule-giver, and that anyone disobeying the rules will be crushed. He contrasts this with Christianity.

“The God of the Bible, Jehovah, sent His own Son and sacrificed Him in order that we can have relationship with Him. There was nothing we could have done — God did it. He did the work, He gave His Son.

“That love, and that sense of God rescuing us, and loving us enough to rescue us just really speaks to the heart of Muslims.”

This message welcoming people into a relationship is so wonderful and necessary that it trumps the fears of going against society. That is why people follow Jesus, even knowing the social consequences.

Photo courtesy of VOM.

(Photo courtesy of Voice of the Martyrs)

Nettleton says it’s encouraging to know this woman found a Christian man she wanted to marry. It signifies the potential for Christian families to grow in Muslim-majority areas.

For believers all around the world, this is a call to prayer for our brothers and sisters.

In this particular instance, be praying for God to soften the hearts of this woman’s family. Ask God for her protection and witness to her persecutors. Pray there would be reconciliation with her family and with her fiancé.

“It’s ultimately the Holy Spirit that softens people’s hearts and makes them receptive to the Gospel message,” Nettleton reminds us.


  • Jodi Hawkins says:

    Heavenly Father, I pray that the Holy Spirit would be with my sister in Christ, to comfort her and bring her peace. I pray also that her families hearts would be softened and open to the Gospel. Most importantly I pray Your good and perfect will over the whole situation. In Jesus mighty name I pray. Amen.

  • Is there some sort of awareness coming to this countries and governments to bring support to this women. Is there any possibility of rescue shelters in any of this countries like in India. May God’s blessings be for her and her family for softening of their hearts.

  • Precious Almighty Father!
    I’m so far away from this woman and her dire circumstance but You’re not! YOU are close and near to the fainthearted! I ask in Jesus name that You remind her of Your nearness. And I too pray for the softening of her family’s heart towards her. You are a big God and nothing is impossible with you! Miracles are an everyday thing with YOU! I ask for Your intervention! Be near to her as she draws near to You! I pray these things in Jesus name! Amen

  • Saloma Smith says:

    I may be one of the e-mail contacts of this woman. I have been teaching for about a year but the last I heard from her is July 1st. She used to write e-mails nearly every day. She had a cruel father, two brothers and a sister.She lives in Lahore, Pakistan.Could this be the young woman you are writing about?I check my e-mail every day and pray for her and her family many times a day.

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