One of the harsh realities Help The Persecuted Field Ministry Team members have had to accept in their line of work, is that even when we are able to come alongside believers under extreme persecution to Rescue, Rebuild, and Restore broken lives, we can’t know how their stories will end.
Often persecution follows believers as they flee into neighboring countries. Our brothers and sisters under extreme persecution may never know if they are truly safe from threats, torture, imprisonment, or death. However, Help The Persecuted is committed to staying the course alongside persecuted believers—believers like Amira.
Mother and daughters come to faith
Our sister Amira is a mother of two teenage girls who is fairly new to the Christian faith and has come under extreme persecution in a short time.
Amira grew up in an educated Muslim family. Led by her father, an engineer, the family became more entrenched in and devoted to Islam when Amira was about nine years old. She began to have many questions, but her teachers and friends at the Catholic school she attended weren’t allowed to answer them because she was a Muslim.
After Amira received her engineering degree and got married, she found a Christian TV channel and began to watch it, thirsty for Truth. However, she eventually stopped watching the television show in order not to offend her husband. When he went away for work, she resumed her search for Truth.
As she watched Christian television shows, many of her questions were answered, and she came to know the Truth. She accepted Jesus just three years ago. She shared her faith with her younger daughter, who also gave her life to the Lord. Later, her older daughter did the same. The three of them attended church together in secret, for fear Amira’s husband would become violent and persecute them.
During their time at church, Amira and her daughters became friends with many other Christian mothers and teens. Amira confided in a friend about her life and coming to Christ, only to later be betrayed to her husband and extended family by that same friend.
Mothers, daughters experience extreme persecution
While her husband was away for work in another town, 10 people from her and her husband’s families hammered on her door, demanding to be let in. When she opened the door they attacked and beat her. They cursed and threatened her before forcing her to say an Islamic oath, and continued beating and threatening her even when she did so.
They turned their hatred toward her daughters, threatening to circumcise them and to file a complaint with state security—which would likely place them all in prison where they would receive beatings and face ongoing torture.
The mob of extremists interrogated her until the early morning when her husband arrived home. Then, they took her to her parents’ home, forcing her daughters to stay at home with their father. The father searched the house for their passports, but Amira had given them to a friend from church.
In the days following this terrible night of pain and torture, church members helped Amira and her daughters escape out of the country—despite the possibility of danger for themselves and the destruction of their church.
When they arrived in a location they felt was far enough away from danger, they were able to stay for a few days at a church until they found a small apartment to rent. For Amira, the rent was steep, and she struggled to make ends meet. It was during this time Help The Persecuted team members were introduced to Amira. They encouraged her spiritually and supported her with living expenses while she looked for higher paying work.
Extreme persecution follows women cross-country
Though Amira had escaped from extreme persecution, recently she received threats over the phone that the secret police are looking for them. A picture of her daughter in her school uniform has been identified by one of her ex-husband’s acquaintances on social media. The picture was taken by one of her daughter’s friends at school and posted on her own account without her daughter’s knowledge.
Someone from her former country then contacted her daughter’s friend who posted the picture, asking for information about Amira’s daughter. Fortunately, Amira’s daughter previously had spoken with her friend, and asked the young girl not to give any information and to say she didn’t know her.
Later, Amira and her daughters discovered even more acquaintances of her ex-husband are watching Amira’s school friends in hopes of finding Amira and her girls.
It is a frightening and terrifying time for Amira and her daughters. Her ex-husband is well connected to various government intelligence agencies, and could facilitate some kind of cooperation with them to find her and her daughters, extradite them, and do them harm.
Amira has contacted a foreign country’s embassy to inform them of the threats and to ask them to accelerate the visa/asylum process to enable her and daughters to leave the country as soon as possible.
Recently, Amira’s daughter had a car accident and broke her nose. She is unable to breathe properly and needs to have urgent surgery. Our team continues to support Amira through this difficult time as her daughter receives care and they seek refuge in another country.
Supporting persecuted believers through uncertain circumstances
Amira’s story is like many others that we hear: When believers are able to flee from extreme persecution, they are often stalked, persecuted anew, turned in to authorities, or found and returned to their homelands where they face almost certain death.
Your prayers and gifts of support make a difference—it matters to Amira and her daughters that the Body of Christ around the world is praying for her. And the support she receives is able to lift her from despair and set her feet on the solid ground of God’s faithfulness as shown through His people.
There are two things you can do for Amira today. First, you can join our Prayer Network to be informed of up-to-the-minute prayer requests. Second, you can support persecuted Christian mothers like Amira who are fleeing from extreme persecution through food, housing, medical care, and more. Together through God’s power, we can make a difference for our brothers and sisters in the Middle East.