The Hope of Enduring Livelihood 

Many persecuted Christians in the Muslim world struggle to find steady employment. Fired for their faith or blocked from being hired in the first place, Christians are often unable to provide for their families and left destitute.  

Our Enduring Livelihood grants help Christians start their own small businesses. Through these grants, Help The Persecuted can provide things like equipment, rent, and initial supplies to help persecuted Christians secure steady income and begin rebuilding their lives.  

We have heard countless stories of lives restored through businesses founded with the help of our Enduring Livelihood grants. They include a coffee shop in Syria and a dry-cleaning service in Iraq in addition to leatherworking shops, sewing businesses, and farms throughout the Middle East. Over 78% of the business our grants seed are still in operation today—the livelihoods these grants support truly are enduring

These small businesses often become beacons of hope in their communities, providing work for other persecuted Christians, filling an often-critical need in their neighborhoods, and, most importantly, creating a new avenue to share the Gospel in some of the regions of the world most hostile to Christianity. 

Nathir, a Devout Muslim, Meets Jesus 

Nathir and his wife

Nathir was devout Muslim, memorizing and reading the Quran regularly. However, he struggled with some of the contradictions he found in Islamic texts and could not get answers to his questions. After the war in Syria started, the killing and hatred of Islam-driven Syrian militias made him wonder if there was an alternative to his Muslim faith, and he became curious about Christianity.  

After losing two family members and enduring air strikes, false imprisonment, torture, and near-execution, he fled to Jordan. His doubt in Islam continued to grow. Then, his wife died while giving birth to their first child. Struggling to maintain a job and raise his newborn son, he went to live with his sister. 

There, his new landlord introduced him to a pastor. While Nathir was initially afraid of being associated with Christians, he had a dream about Jesus and asked the pastor for a Bible, which Nathir secretly read. Intrigued by what he read, he began attending a Christian church. 

There, he heard the Gospel for the first time. He accepted Jesus as his Savior and was baptized. He said that Christ became his “God, Lord, and Beloved One.” Afterward, he met his future wife, Noura, and led her to Christ. 

Nathir Encounters Persecution 

However, Nathir quickly encountered pressure and persecution on account of his friendship with his pastor. When he shared his faith with his colleagues, he was forced to resign from his job. Even worse, he was falsely accused of a costly mistake at work and was expected to compensate for the lost funds. He was left without an income and with crippling debt. 

The persecution continued and intensified. Although Noura wore a hijab to avoid raising suspicion, people saw a Cross hanging from the rearview mirror in their car and stabbed Nathir with a knife multiple times. However, Nathir was undeterred from sharing his faith, commenting, “Yes, I was stabbed for having a cross in my car, but I now have Bibles in my car that I never take out. I want to share Christ with everyone.” 

A New Beginning 

Nathir inspects a pair of shoes

After facing wave upon wave of persecution, Nathir knew that if he was going to support himself and his family, he needed to start his own business. His father had owned a shoe factory in Syria, and he had worked there for years during his childhood, so he decided to open a local shoe shop. 

In his new shop, Nathir will fix purses and shoes and sell end-of-the-line stock. He will offer competitive prices to attract a broad customer base. Most importantly, the products and services Nathir will offer are deeply needed in his town and nearby areas, where there isn’t another shop like his. 

Through an Enduring Livelihood grant, Help The Persecuted is providing him a shoe sole stitching machine, other tools and supplies for his work, some initial stock, and a few months of rent to get him started. When Nathir received help, he responded, “I am truly grateful for your support. Thank you for standing with us during this time. My life has not been easy, and it is full of struggles. You gave me hope to continue.” 

For Nathir, opening his shoe shop represents a new beginning for him and his family. “I feel liberated! Jesus saved me, and you gave me hope to continue. This shop represents my years of struggle put into a new beginning. Thank you so much.”  

We believe that Nathir’s shoe shop will be a beacon of hope in their community, filling a critical need in the neighborhood and giving Nathir’s family many opportunities to share the love and hope of Jesus with their customers. 

Shoelaces, one of the many stock items that our Enduring Livelihood grant helped him purchase

Thank You for Helping Nathir 

Your support helps persecuted Christians like Nathir establish businesses that provide for their families and create avenues for sharing the Good News of Jesus in their communities.  

Thank you for your prayers for persecuted Christian business owners and for supporting them financially through Help The Persecuted and our Enduring Livelihood program