ARABIA — In the Arabian Peninsula, with its predominantly Islamic faith and culture, choosing to follow Christ can be costly. Nadia* struggled with loneliness and isolation when she became a Christian – but she has seen the impact of prayer.
*Name changed for security reasons.
Nadia*, name changed for security purposes:
If I look back at my life before coming to the Lord, there are many instances where I could see now His hand and His work leading me to where I am today.
In the Arabian Peninsula, with its predominantly Islamic faith and culture, choosing to follow Christ can be costly.
It normally leads to opposition and persecution from society and a believer’s own family.
The risks of leaving Islam and becoming a Christian are very real. There is this shame mindset that is very predominant in the Arab culture. So if one family member does something, then it is a shameful thing for the whole family.
There are a lot of things that can happen. It depends on the family, it depends on how religious they are, depends how obsessed they are with what society says about them. So it could go from killing the person to locking them up, to abusing them, and it also could be shunning. They wouldn’t do anything to them physically, but they would just kick them out and leave them to their own devices and say, “We’re done with you. You’re not our daughter or our son or husband or wife.”
Rarely do you find situations where the family is accepting. It does happen but it’s very rare.
In this context of persecution, it is all the more important that new Christians can meet with other believers so that they can receive teaching and discipleship and know that they are not alone.
As a new believer in the Middle Eastern area, it’s very challenging to find a church and other believers. And one of the main reasons is fear. Obviously, there’s mistrust. One could be afraid that they are talking to someone who’s not a believer, but they’re posing as one.
The first time I met other believers, real born-again believers, it was a wonderful experience. And I had prayed for that for a long time, to really be able to connect to people who understand what I feel, and be able to talk to them and see that they have the same spirit that I have, and rejoice in that joy. It was one of the most wonderful experiences. It was very overwhelming.
So since I came to Christ, I definitely learned what it means to be in the family of God and that I’m not alone.
Nadia is encouraged by connecting not only with other local believers, but also through prayer with Christians in the worldwide family of God.
It just baffles me in a very positive way, how many people are praying for this region. Those prayers have affected me and have affected other people living in this country who found the truth and see the light. It really gives hope as to how connected we are as the Church of Christ. The way I see it, it’s creating a bridge. It may not be physical, but a spiritual bridge of the spirit working through the church. And I think the more people in this area of the Middle East know this, the more encouraged they’ll feel they are not by themselves, that there are people who are praying for them.
About Open Doors UK
Open Doors is a non-denominational mission that supports persecuted Christians in over 70 countries where Christianity is socially or legally discouraged or oppressed. In their work, they provide vital support, training, and resources to those facing persecution or discrimination.
Resources that they provide include distributing Bibles and literature, running leadership training, assisting with socio-economic development and intercessory prayer. They also help victims of violence and disaster, including widows and orphans, with practical support such as relief aid, livelihood support, and community development projects.
Their vision is of a world in which every Christian who is persecuted is remembered and supported by other Christians. They pray for a world where there is no persecution.
Source: Global News Alliance, Nadia Knows Power of Pray in the Arabian Peninsula