Losing a Job…for Christ 

For many Christians in the Muslim world, persecution reaches into every area of their lives—including their jobs. When their employers discover that they have rejected Islam to follow Christ, they often fire them and spread the word of their conversion around town to block them from finding other employment. As a result, many believers are forced to relocate and develop new skills to find a place in a new job market—all under the pressure of persisting and constantly changing persecution.  

The Disproportionate Impact on Women 

Women are especially vulnerable to the effects of persecution in the Muslim world. Cast out from their families on account of their faith, they face an even higher uphill climb, as many jobs in the Middle East and North Africa are not available to women, much less Christian women, as women usually find their livelihoods in their families and marriage. Many Muslim women are not educated precisely because they are women. 

Sometimes, they end up destitute and living on the streets, where they are subject to violence, including even rape. Many times, the cost of Christianity is so overwhelming that they see no other option than returning to Islam.  

However, when women find jobs that utilize their skills while providing a regular income, they are able to find dignity and stability they never could have imagined. This saves them from difficult lives on the street—and, most importantly, helps them remain firm in their faith no matter the challenge. In many instances, the women we have helped are even able to provide employment for other persecuted believers! 

Starting a Sewing Training Center 

In 2021, Help The Persecuted learned about a church in Egypt who faithfully worshipped together each Sunday despite persecution and deep poverty. Many of these 50 families were displaced as a result of violent Islamist mobs that targeted the churches and property of Christians.  

One of the greatest needs in the church was finding a way to help these families, many of whom were hardworking but in need of employable skills. Our local Field Ministry Team assessed the needs of the community, identifying a market for seamstresses. Help The Persecuted was able to provide sewing machines and the funds for a sewing training center where women could learn skills and find work. 

The space adjacent to the center was used as a Safe House for persecuted women in danger, and several Safe House residents and women from the church began training. One resident shared with our team that this opportunity was allowing her and her young adult daughter to get back on their feet and pursue a new life together!

However, a family who had been threatening one of the women in the Safe House discovered her location. The Safe House was soon raided. While everyone was safely relocated, it was clear that the center would have to be moved.

Undeterred, the church arranged for the sewing machines to go to two other training centers. Since then, over 75 women have been trained in five courses. These women now have the chance to escape poverty!

13 Sewing Machines for Persecuted Women 

Thirteen women recently graduated from the sewing training center and are now poised to earn a stable income with tangible skills and business savvy. They no longer have to beg on the streets—and their families can stay together and grow in faith.  

However, these women did not have the initial capital they needed to afford their own sewing machines, the most important piece of equipment for them to begin work. Again, Help The Persecuted was delighted to step in and help these women get a solid start. Through an Enduring Livelihood grant, we are able to provide each woman with her own sewing machine. Each will be able to work from home, so she can care for her children while earning a stable income.  

Meet a Few Recipients 

Miyada attended a Christian church when she was young, but after she got married, her husband prevented her from going to church and often mocked her faith. Miyada began to pray that her husband’s heart would soften towards the Gospel, and soon he allowed her to go again. Then her husband miraculously came to faith! However, the couple struggles to make ends meet, and Islamist mobs vandalized their daughter’s business along with countless other Christian houses and shops in their village. Miyada’s new income, thanks to the sewing machine, will make a considerable difference in their lives! 

Aza attended a revival meeting during her first year of college. She gave her life to the Lord that very night and started to read the Bible consistently! However, persecution made life difficult for Aza. Islamist mobs threw stones at her home and broke their front door. While she was able to remain in her home, she is unable to make a livable wage. She is hopeful that her new sewing machine will make financial stability possible. 

Iman discovered the love of Jesus as a teenager. She had struggled with unforgiveness in the past, but as she learned to trust the Lord with her whole life, she found it possible to forgive those who had sinned against her. Like Miyada and Aza, her town was affected deeply by mob vandalism. The new sewing machine will give her hope as she presses on despite the ongoing trials and persecution!  

Thank You For Giving Hope to Persecuted Women 

Because of you, we can provide tangible help and spiritual support as persecuted believers endure trials that seem insurmountable. If it were not for the help of our good, gracious God and those who faithfully give to Help The Persecuted, we do not know where women like Aza, Miyada, and Iman would be.  

Your support is enabling these women to find hope, stability, and dignity in the least expected places, in the least expected of ways. They can have what they need to remain firm in their faith despite persecution, and each time they sit at their sewing machines will have tangible evidence that the Body of Christ—from all over the world—loves them deeply and dearly and cares about their pain.  

Would you like to play an active role in helping persecuted Christians rebuild their lives, ultimately strengthening the Church and its impact across the Muslim world? 

Give today.