When we hear the stories of our persecuted brothers and sisters, those facing extreme persecution because of their faith, it helps to keep our lives and struggles in perspective. And it fosters gratitude for our daily freedoms we may often take for granted.
After all, we can still speak the name of Jesus without fear; we can still read the Bible openly; we can still worship in public with other Christians; we can still share our beliefs freely. These are privileges that many in the Body of Christ around the world do not experience. Their faith comes at a cost that affects their entire families.
Help The Persecuted believes that with our freedom comes great responsibility. We can enter into the stories of these persecuted Christians and offer them help, relief, and hope right where they are. Consider the story of Mohamed and his family as they converted from Islam to Christianity and met devastating persecution with incredible faith.
A New Heart
Mohamed and his wife, Bushra, used to call Syria home, along with their seven children and Mohamed’s elderly mother. Mohamed and Bushra grew up following the teachings of Islam. When they moved to Lebanon, they met a Christian family who shared the Gospel with them, and Mohamed and Bushra embraced Jesus as their Savior and were baptized at a local church. Little did they know the price they would pay when they put their trust in Him.
A New Life for Mahamed and Bushra
First, Mohamed and Bushra’s relatives turned their backs on them and refused to talk to them. One relative was a member of a political party in Syria and knew about Mohamed’s faith. He struck an agreement with an extremist party in Lebanon to target Mohamed. The political party members threatened to kill him and kidnap his children, accusing Mohamed of belonging to an opposing party and accusing his family of infidelity. Mohamed was forced to pay a steep payment of $10,000—almost everything he had—for the accusations to be dropped. Mohamed hoped this would put an end to the threats and violence, but then Mohamed and his family were forcefully evicted from their house by an armed group.
Mohamed smuggled his family to a neighboring country to try to start anew. His children had no choice but to attend a school that required Islamic religious instruction. Without any official documents and living openly as Christians, Mohamed’s family was still a target in their new location. Their new home was burned down, and the perpetrator was never discovered. They lost all their belongings in the fire, including their clothing and furniture. Governmental humanitarian organizations dropped Mohamed’s name from their lists because of his conversion, so he could not receive needed assistance. Repeatedly, Mohamed would find a job somewhere and then get fired because of his faith.
A New Hope Emerges
Mohamed resorted to borrowing money to buy a taxi that he drives to try to earn an income, but he makes very little each week. Mohamed struggles to care for his large family, and many of his family members have health problems that require ongoing medical care. Years ago, Bushra fell from a high platform and sustained a severe injury to her spinal cord. She still suffers from pain and associated health problems.
Mohamed and Bushra are active in their local church, and the church has connected them with the ministry of Help The Persecuted. Mohamed receives food and supplies at the church, and Help The Persecuted is helping to pay the family’s rent and medical expenses.
Despite a series of difficult trials, Mohamed and his family continue to worship the one true God of the Bible and put their trust in Him. They believe in Jesus’ promise in John 16:33: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (NIV). Help The Persecuted offers Mohamed and others like him comfort and support in the trials of this life while resting in Jesus’ promised victory over the troubles of the world.