“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”—Romans 8:18 

The stories of the persecuted inevitably expand and clarify our understanding of Christian suffering. And if their sufferings—threats, beatings, starvation, imprisonment, being disowned and fired—are not worth comparing to the glory of God, how marvelous is this glory we all await? 

Kareem’s story is a sobering reminder that we are not guaranteed a single comfort in this life. All he has is this promise of future glory…  

COMING TO CHRIST 

Born into a Muslim family in a remote region of Syria, Kareem grew up in spiritual darkness. The family staunchly adhered to tribal customs and lived in dire poverty. But God, in his incomprehensible mercy, met Kareem in an unlikely place: the soccer field. 

persecuted christian

As a young man, Kareem would meet his neighborhood friends at a local churchyard to play pickup soccer. His friends, some of whom were devout followers of Christ, would discuss spiritual topics before heading home. These conversations piqued Kareem’s interest in the Gospel, and he began meeting with a local pastor to work through his long list of questions. As his heart softened to the love of Jesus, he ultimately surrendered his life to the Lord. 

BECOMING A PERSECUTED CHRISTIAN 

From the moment of his salvation, Kareem was a bold evangelist. He widely shared the radical transformation he had experienced through Jesus Christ, being freed from hostility and aggression to walk in humility and love. His parents soon got word of their son’s conversion and took swift action… 

Hopeful that Kareem would return to Islam if the Christian influences in his life were eradicated, they forced him into an arranged Muslim marriage in another city. The newlywed couple welcomed their daughter into the world soon after. 

His wife, unresponsive to the Good News he had been sharing with her, told both sides of the family about his Christian faith and practices. His parents were outraged by the supposed shame Kareem brought upon the family and ultimately separated him from his wife and child. 

persecuted christian

They brought him home, tied him up, and brutally beat him. They broke all his teeth. And when he continued to resist renouncing Christ, they shot him. By God’s grace, the gunshot wound was non-fatal, and he made a full recovery.  

Despite months of torture, Kareem’s faith remained steadfast. Then, he was forced into another arranged marriage. Despite all the suffering he had endured, he faithfully shared Christ with his new wife. She readily accepted the Gospel and joined him in faith! Knowing this could mean death if their families found out, the couple fled Syria. 

PERSECUTION PERSISTS 

Kareem and his wife, now parents to young children, did not find the safety and stability they longed for by leaving Syria. They had continual visa complications that forced them to move from country to country. And while in Lebanon, a distant relative of Kareem’s ran him down in a car and broke his leg. 

The family returned to their home country, hoping their persecutors had lost interest over time…but those hopes were immediately dashed. While trying to find work in another city, Kareem’s wife and young children were kidnapped by his family. His parents threatened their lives if Kareem did not renounce Christ. 

Trusting God’s guidance, Kareem secretly returned to his hometown and waited for the ideal time to lead his family to escape. A miraculous opportunity presented itself, and they once again fled to Lebanon. This is when Fareed, our Field Ministry Team member in Syria, heard about Kareem’s desperate situation and sought him out to help in any way needed. 

FIELD MINISTRY TEAM COLLABORATION 

Kareem had lost everything he had ever owned in the unending waves of persecution. And like most people in Lebanon, he couldn’t find work to provide for his family. He shared his struggles with Fareed back in Syria. Kareem longed to lead his family into peace and provide for them abundantly, but he couldn’t see a path forward. 

Fareed felt led to connect Kareem to Help The Persecuted team members in Turkey, where it would be easier for him to find work. Kareem sent his wife and children to a safe place in Syria, where they would be under the care and protection of Fareed and the local church, out of reach from their persecutors. This gave Kareen time to focus on his job search in Turkey with help from our team. Our team strategizes across national borders, coming together as the Body of Christ to collaborate in helping the persecuted! 

persecuted christian

Because of the faithful support of friends like you, Kareem is now preparing a home in Turkey to welcome his family into. He is well on his way to finding work and is receiving vital pastoral care and discipleship from our field team as he moves forward! 

WALK ALONGSIDE PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS LIKE KAREEM 

We grieve all that Kareem has endured and lost to persecution. But we also rejoice in his resilience, stubbornly clinging to the hope of future glory in the face of such unimaginable suffering. We have so much to learn from testimonies like his!

As tumultuous and shocking as Kareem’s story is, it is not unique. Countless persecuted brothers and sisters are currently enduring years-long persecution with no relief.  

Through our R3 Impact Partner program, you can stand with people like Kareem through every wave of persecution, helping Rescue, Restore, and Rebuild their lives with consistent care that evolves alongside their needs.

Your monthly support enables us to enter their suffering, standing with them and ensuring they receive tangible help and spiritual support every step of the way!

We are grateful God has allowed us to care for Kareem, reminding him of the glories to come. Join us in praying for his family…their story is far from over. And would you prayerfully consider helping others like him by becoming an R3 Impact Partner today?

Become a Monthly Partner