NORTH AFRICA — Latifa’s* family threw her out of the house and even threatened to kill her after she became a Christian. Thankfully, she married a Christian man and Open Doors partners have found a place for them to live away from the persecution. But Latifa is still suffering from the rejection she experienced.
Latifa* — name changed and identity for security purposes:
“Dad was everything to me and I was everything to him. So when he asked me to leave, I felt like it was the end of the world.”
Latifa grew up in a Muslim country in North Africa, but came to know Jesus through her future husband. Although her immediate family were not especially strict Muslims, changing her religion caused Latifa much trouble.
“When I told them that I had become a believer, they did not accept it. Even my dad, who was normally understanding and anti-Muslim was not very happy. My brothers used to be cultural Muslims but when I became a believer, one of them tried to stop me from going to church. He would threaten to kill me. So I had to stop going to church as they were using all kinds of ways to prevent me from going.
“Eventually they sent me away from the family home. My family tried to force me to wear a veil again and to marry a cousin of mine. Either that or leave home forever. It was hard to feel the whole world was against you and wanted to control your mind and heart. I felt neglected and ignored. Everyone was trying to intimidate me. There was death threats and homelessness awaiting me.
“I was afraid but I knew God wasn’t going to leave me alone and He was going to give me shelter.”
Latifa did find shelter staying with a Christian family who accepted her and showed her unconditional love. Later, she married her Christian husband. But their ongoing persecution has had deep and long-lasting effects.
“I’ve lost confidence in people and myself. I know that God can wipe out every scar from the past, but I still struggle to cope with the loss. I still have unexpected moments of fear and anguish.”
Open Doors has been able to offer support to Latifa and her husband helping them to find a new place to live away from the threats of Latifa’s family.
“I praise God that your ministry was there to open many doors for me. Every time I had problems, God would send help, a solution. I always ask Him to send His own solutions because they’re the best solutions – and He answers my prayers. Despite everything, I’m still firm in Jesus. God Himself endured beatings, humiliation and torture for me. The persecution I’ve lived through doesn’t compare to what God went through to save me. There is nothing to encourage me to deny my faith.”
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.