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The Light Cannot Be Stopped in the Middle East

February 1, 2018 by Brian in ,

Pinpoints of hope are popping up everywhere—God is doing amazing work in the Middle East and Open Doors is blessed to be His hands and feet.

In a hidden location in the Middle East, a group of female house church leaders has gathered in secret to grow and learn together. Lively conversation and warm smiles fill the room.

Outside this room, in a culture dominated by men, these women are forced to blend into the anonymous mass of covered heads. They must hide their faith and risk their lives. But the light of Christ can’t be stopped, and in the safety of this women’s conference hosted by Open Doors, these daring leaders can finally be themselves.

Tala,* a warm, young woman with big, bright eyes, is part of the group. She was the first to come to faith in her Muslim family and has led more family members to Christ, including two of her older sisters. The sisters’ decisions to live for Christ come at a high price.

“We started reading the Bible together,” Tala shares. “But when my father found out we had become Christians, he was so angry and did all kinds of things to try to make us lose our faith. For instance, he locked us up and forbade us from eating at the same table with the family.”

He even made the sisters go to a mullah, a leader specifically trained to persuade new Christians to convert back to Islam. It didn’t work.

“After we left, the mullah told our father that our faith was impossible to shake, that we had even shared the gospel with him!” Tala remembers.

When nothing changed the daughters’ conviction, Tala’s father took an even more drastic approach and forced Tala’s sister to marry a strict Muslim man.

“He controls [my sister’s] every movement,” Tala says. “She can’t attend the house church anymore; in fact, she is barely allowed to have contact with her brothers and sisters in faith.”

However, this pressure hasn’t stopped Tala and her other sister from leading house churches. Tala is one of few leaders in the country who work with children, which can be very hard she says. The conference gives her the opportunity to meet privately with a trauma counselor and share and process some of her painful experiences.

In other sessions, a Bible teacher shares about the high value Jesus placed on women in the Bible—the opposite of what their Islam lessons taught them and what they heard from their fathers. Tala soaks up the words like a dry sponge. Reinvigorated, she returns to her ministry.

Recently, she has glimpsed some hopeful new gifts from the Lord.

“My father has become softer in his approach to me,” she shares. “He sees how my sister and I keep treating him with love, even though he persecutes us. I pray that this will be the start for him to get to know Jesus.”

Your support is equipping persecuted leaders like Tala with biblical and pastoral training, trauma counseling and spiritual development. Thank you for helping to reach Muslims with the hope of the gospel and advance the Church in the Middle East.

*Representative name and image used for security.

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18 responses to “The Light Cannot Be Stopped in the Middle East”

  1. Let them be a witness to the Muslim society until it is time for them to leave those places when hearts are angry and closed. Lord move these women to asylum in a free country when their work is done sowing the seeds of the Gospel.

  2. Wow! We in American cannot imagine the kind of persecution you are going through for your faith in Christ. Please know we are praying for you and that the Lord will send his Holy Spirit to move on the hearts and minds of your families so they too, will know His saving grace and love.

  3. Father help these young women, keep them as the apple of Your eye, angles watch over, protect and guide their every move and word in Jesus’ name, Amen!

  4. My prayer for Tala and her family is for the Lord to protect them and their important work from harm and to help them reach their Muslim community with the Good News Jesus has for them. I also pray for Tala’s father that he may soften his heart towards his families work in the Lord and that he will some day come to believe as he learns of Jesus.

  5. I am humbled by their standing firm in their faith amidst such persecution from their own family! God’s truth is unstoppable and the more the authorities try to suppress the gospel the more it spreads through faithful believers trusting in God’s amazing love and the grace He provides to all saints for perseverance! Praying everyday for their victory in Christ.

  6. My precious sisters, don’t give up hope. Jesus is with you and your reward will be great. imagine being in His grace forever. I pray for your ongoing strength and willingness to be the hands and feet of Christ.
    I live where we have freedom of religion. The fields here are in need of seed planting . So sad

  7. Praise God for these brave women. The Lord is with you, seek comfort in His Word.
    “2. May the Lord answer you on the day of distress; may the Name of the God of Jacob fortify you.
    3. May He send your help from the Sanctuary, and support you from Zion.
    4. May He remember all your offerings, and always accept favorably your sacrifices.
    5. May He grant you your heart’s desire, and fulfill your every counsel.”

    Psalm 20: 2-5.

  8. Because of her faithfulness and your great love for the lost, I pray for that this woman’s entire family – including her abusive father – would accept your Son and come into your kingdom. Also, I thank you for Open Doors and the work that they are doing. May their faithfulness in these tasks lead to even more responsibility for your kingdom.

  9. Bless God! Keep keeping on in Jesus; real signs God disrupts lives everywhere. That’s real courage and lifestyle evangelism

  10. May God abundantly Bless the faith of those receiving faith and hope in Jesus in the middle east.
    May he protect their leaders and faith in Jesus.
    May the true word of God prosper in this land.
    IHS. AMEN🐟

  11. Lord, give great courage and grace to these as they share the Good News to their Muslim friends and families. I pray for hearts to be open and ready for the Holy Spirit to do His work, and that their friends and family will receive Jesus. Bless those being persecuted and tested for their faith. Provide for their needs and encourage them. Thanks be to God for the precious gift of His Son!

  12. I’m very grateful and exciting about the work God is doing, it’s so refreshing to hear. It’s so hard for me to not judge Muslims even though Jesus says we must forgive. Maybe if we were persecuted I could see difficulty. I will pray for Jesus to strengthen the ladies and that my heart will change

  13. I praise God that nothing can destroy the Church. I pray that those who are now persecuting other will like Saul/Paul, come to faith in Jesus

  14. But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.
    Psalms 5:11

  15. Hallelujah! Jesus is alive and shining through these women! “There are those who rebel against the light, who do not know its ways or stay in its paths.” Job 24:13 BUT, ” The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

  16. I am donating to Open Doors through AFA for Bibles. What an all powerful, loving, awesome God we have! I’m praying for many Muslim souls to turn and accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior, and for the safety of those over in the Middle East spreading His Word!!

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