Int’l (ODM) — God is using your support to help save Christians who have fled their homes, and provide strength and comfort.
One of the greatest crises of our time is the growing number of Christian refugees: men, women, and children who have been forced to flee their homes because of escalating violence, death threats, and direct assaults, just because they are Christians.
Because of your generous ongoing support, Open Doors has been able to help keep these Christians alive, despite the horrific plights they have faced. Here are just a few of the amazing ways God is at work strengthening these precious brothers and sisters through your support.
A Young Woman Willing to Die for Her Faith in Iraq
Raja, a young Iraqi Christian in her 20s, will never forget that day: the day her pastor’s lifeless body was found in a gutter.
He had been taken by extremists who had brutally beaten him and then killed him, all for refusing to deny Jesus. And to send a message, they had dumped his body in a gutter.
Because of the increasing violence, persecution, and death threats, Raja and her family were forced to flee from their home. But that horrific event has deeply challenged Raja’s faith.
“I started wondering if I was actually ready to die for my faith, like my pastor did,” she explained. “I have to be honest: at first I wasn’t that brave. I thought, ‘I’ll just say I converted to Islam, but stay a Christian in my heart.’ But when I thought about the sacrifice my pastor had made, I started realizing that I never wanted to deny my faith. I know that the pain of death only lasts for a minute, but after that I will be with my Savior forever.”
Today, Raja and her family are working to restart their lives in another part of Iraq that is still filled with dangers. Open Doors is there helping to provide the resources, encouragement, and support they need to rebuild… and stand firm in their faith.
Keeping Christians Alive in Central Asia
Ahmed, a pastor in a Central Asian Muslim-majority country (which cannot be named for security reasons), is like many pastors in this region of the world. Local authorities, the government, and neighbors often turn against them and threaten them because of their faith.
For Ahmed, the threats became so intense that he had to make the hard decision to flee his country to take his family to safety. And now he is facing arrest.
Open Doors is there to provide a safe house for Ahmed and his family while they wait to be able to return to their home. They are working with him to strengthen and encourage him during this difficult time.
In spite of the difficulties, Ahmed remains resolute in his faith and determined to see the Gospel advanced. As he says, “My dream, and the dream of my family, is to see the love of Christ spread through our hometown.”
According to the UN Refugee Agency, more than 7.6 million people have been displaced this year. Among this number–which is rapidly growing–are an increasing number of Christians who are being forced to flee for their lives. In countries like Iraq, North Korea, and many Central Asian countries, Christians have lost almost everything because of their faith in Christ.
Please pray that Ahmed and his family will be able to return to their home, so they can continue to be a light for the gospel in a place of deep spiritual darkness.
Though many of these believers have lost almost everything, your prayers and support are helping to keep these brave Christians alive. Your faithfulness has equipped Open Doors to be able to serve these Christians and bring restoration to their communities. Thank you for standing with them!