NORTH AFRICA – Islèm* was brought up in a Muslim family. As far as her father knows, she is still a Muslim. But this 22-year-old student is courageously following Jesus in secret – and she found out about Him online.
When Islèm was 15, she discovered a Christian Facebook group, who connected her to a pastor. He then arranged for a Bible to be brought to her. Soon after, she attended a Bible study group run by Open Doors partners.
Islèm speaks passionately about her relationship with Jesus now: “Jesus is like oxygen, because without oxygen you cannot breathe. If Jesus were not in my life, I wouldn’t be here today, I would not be alive.”
This form of social media discipleship and outreach is increasingly becoming the way Open Doors partners are reaching seekers and new believers. During the coronavirus crisis, with face-to-face outreach impossible, online projects are more crucial than ever.
“At that time, I thought that there weren’t any Christians in North Africa. I thought that I was the first person who thought of becoming a Christian in North Africa.”
Islèm* grew up in a Muslim family. When she saw a Christian praying on TV, she had nobody to ask about Christianity.
“I started to search on YouTube. I tried to find out how Jesus was. And on Facebook too, I tried to find something.
Islèm’s search led her to a Facebook page about Christians in her country. She was connected with a pastor who arranged for a Bible to be brought to her.
“There was a girl who came to give me a Bible. She said they were going to church. I asked if I could come with them and she said yes. The pastor was teaching from John: I am the way, the truth and the life. On that day I didn’t want to leave the church. Each time I returned home, I would always just read the Bible. I only read the Bible. It’s like eating.
“Whenever I read it, I wanted to read more and more.”
Islèm became a Christian and attended secret Bible studies run by Open Doors partners. But it’s too dangerous to share her faith. So she has to keep it hidden.
“My father does not know anything about it. I tried twice to have a conversation with my father. I thought that if I said anything more, he would kill me. At the moment in my circle of friends and family, there aren’t any Christians. But in the Bible we are told that we need to be a united community; all Christians should be one body.”
Many people are finding Christ in North Africa. During lockdown, online communities are the only way they can meet other Christians.
*Name changed for security reasons.
About Open Doors UK
For over 60 years, Open Doors has worked in the world’s most oppressive countries, empowering Christians who are persecuted for their beliefs. Open Doors equips persecuted Christians in more than 60 countries through programs like Bible & Gospel Development, Women & Children Advancement and Christian Community Restoration.
- Global News Alliance, Social Media Throws a Lifeline to Secret Believer in North Africa
- Open Doors UK, Official Website