When we follow Jesus, we become part of a new family—the family of God. 

Romans 8:16-17 says: “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs: heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ—if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” 

As part of the family of God, we inherit many spiritual brothers and sisters. And we can confidently and lovingly call God our Father. These beautiful realities bless every believer, but they are especially meaningful to those who have been hurt or forsaken by their earthly families.

One devastating form of persecution occurs when biological family members turn their backs or even cause harm to family members who have chosen to walk with God through faith in Jesus Christ. 

Some family members even try to cause suffering by drawing attention to the Christians’ newfound faith in regions where Christians experience physical harm and even death for their beliefs. This was the experience of Subah and his family.

Brought into God’s Family

Subah was a Muslim from Iraq. After moving to Lebanon for his work, he began studying the Quran regularly. As he read, he started to feel uneasy about the contents of this religious book. The violence and inhumane treatment that threaded through the Quran troubled Subah, and he began to doubt his Muslim faith.

God led Subah to befriend a man who grew up in his hometown and had been Muslim before converting to Christianity. This new friend shared the Gospel with Subah and introduced him to Jesus Christ. He also took him to church, and Subah befriended the pastor. The pastor started regularly discipling Subah, and he grew to know and love Jesus. He placed his full trust in the Lord.

When Subah professed his newfound Christianity, his wife Nabiha initially rejected his faith. After seeing the change in his life, Nabiha agreed to go to church with him, and she became a Christian as well.

Betrayed by Family

Nabiha’s sister noticed the Christian books in Nabiha and Subah’s home. She told her Muslim parents, and they came and took Nabiha away. Subah’s in-laws threatened him and accused him of cursing the leaders of the local religious group. These rumors spread and incited others in the community to threaten Subah on social media, eventually leading to physical attacks against him. Subah owned and operated a bakery in Lebanon, but his in-laws forced him to close it.

When word of Subah’s Christian faith spread to Subah’s parents back in Iraq, his own parents threatened to kill him.

Beloved in God’s Family

After receiving death threats from his parents, Subah and Nabiha fled the area temporarily. They have been able to return and raise their two-year-old son, but they have no means of income without their bakery. Without an income, Subah and his family struggle to make it day-to-day and now have no family to turn to for help. Help The Persecuted has stepped in as the Body of Christ, filling the gap and helping Subah pay rent and monthly living expenses. 

Subah, Nabiha, and their young son are grateful for the support of our ministry and for the fellowship they have locally. They are still connected to the pastor who introduced them to Jesus. Yet, the pain of the relationships they have lost is very real. Jesus tells us, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold” (Mark 10:29-30). 

In following Jesus, Subah and his family have lost so much, but they know they cannot turn back now. Help The Persecuted exists to encourage Subah and others like him that Jesus is worth it, and that the family of God, their brothers and sisters in Christ, will support and love them as they stand firm in their faith.

Following Jesus Cost Subah and His Family Everything