CHINA — When Muslims becomes Christians in China they become alienated from their people group and family. They are often socially marginalized, disowned by their family and rejected by their friends. In response Open Doors workers Philip and Pearl* take great to risk their own safety to visit and encourage these Muslim background believers or MBBs. They provide one-on-one mentoring to these secret believers through Bible study, encouragement and prayer.
Pearl*, Open Doors Worker:
“In the North West of the country, especial in Xinjian Province Muslims have been targeted and are not allowed to observe their religious festivals. Many Mosques have been closed. Many Muslims were detained and sent to Chinese re-education camps where they undergo intensive Chinese re-education.”
As Ethnic Muslims, secret believers are among those targeted and some have also been sent to these China re-education camps. Designed to root out Islamic fundamentalism, non-radical Muslims typically spend several months in these camps, learning Chinese language and culture and socialist values.
On top of this hardship from the internment secret believers also risk persecution from their own communities if their Christian faith is discovered.
“When Muslims becomes Christians, they become alienated from their people group and family. They are often socially marginalized disowned by their family and rejected by their friends. It is common for them to be ignored when it comes to education and employment opportunities. Because of the pressure many converts dare not admit to their newfound faith and become secret believers.”
Philip*, Open Doors Worker:
“Some give up completely and go back to being Muslims. Others lose job and start to doubt their faith in Jesus. If they can just stop and look to the Lord, read the Word and pray they encounter God’s love again, of course, and are able to persevere.”
Thankfully Pear and Philip are prepared to risk their own safety to visit and encourage these Muslim background believers or MBBs.
“We always allow plenty of time to walk with them and to listen to their needs and struggles. Being present with them in this way is so important. We comfort them, use God’s word to encourage them and pray for them. We provide them with Biblical training to help them understand salvation and experience the love of Jesus. We do this using one-on-one mentoring or small group discussions.
“This has helped the MBB believers stand strong when they are persecuted.”
“Whenever we visit MBBs, they thank us for taking the risk to visit them. And they often say ‘We can’t thank you enough. We really are one family.’ One sister said, ‘I am able to share all my pain and frustrations each time you come, because I trust you. This has totally set me free. When you visit I feel loved, comforted and surrounded in prayer.’”
*Name changed for security reasons.
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, Ministering to Muslim Background Chinese Christians