Noreen’s Story

Persecution comes in all forms, and in Pakistan, it is quite systemic. In recent years, a growing number of young Christian women are being coursed into marrying Muslim men. Christians are marginalized, and Christian boys are often forced to quit school early on. As a result, they are never able to obtain jobs that could support a family, or even a wife. Woman Noreen* is a 24 year old Christian woman from Pakistan. Her family valued education and did everything in their power to keep her in school. When Noreen was 19, she began seeing her Muslim neighbor Mustafa. Noreen hid her five year relationship from her family, as she knew they would not approve. When she was at church, Noreen found it difficult to relate to anyone. The pastor was a good man, but was not formally trained, and Noreen found the sermons to be simplistic. One day, as she was listening to her pastor preach a sermon, she noted a significant change in the depth of his preaching. Little did she know that her pastor had attended a Project Alive conference, a program to strengthen pastors who work in communities like these. In the weeks that followed, Noreen continued to be impacted by her pastor’s sermons and decided to recommit her life to Christ and tell her family about the relationship she was hiding from them. At first her family did not know what to do and decided to approach their pastor about this issue. Through the training he received from Project Alive, he was able to counsel her family. When she ended her relationship with Mustafa, he was extremely upset and began to make violent threats, so Noreen told her family and pastor. Her pastor arranged for them to leave their village and find a safer place to live. Noreen and her family are safe, but must remain in hiding for the foreseeable future. God allowed Project Alive to impact the lives of not only this pastor, but also saved Noreen and her family, along with other Christians in the community. This program truly has had a lasting effect. *Names and other details have been changed to protect these believers

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