Saudi believer facing prison flees country, reunites with family

August 31, 2021 by Lindy Lowry in Middle East

We have reports that Adam*, the Saudi Arabia believer Adam we’ve been praying for and sending messages to since May, has left Saudi Arabia and joined his wife Hope* and their youngest son in an undisclosed country.

Adam’s is a story we’ve followed over the last few months, rejoicing with him and Hope over good reports and weeping for them as they shared their discouragement. Because both Adam and Hope regularly sent responses back to our prayers and encouraging messages, the connection grew even stronger.  In May, we reported that Adam, a believer from a Muslim background, was facing up to two years in prison for his faith. Previously, he was in prison several times for a total of about four months, and he was sentenced to 900 lashes for importing Bibles.

At the time of the last trial, Christians throughout the Open Doors global community began to share prayers and encouraging messages with Adam and his family. In response, both Adam and Hope wrote letters of thank you and declaration of their faith despite the consequences. In late May, a judge sentenced him to two years in prison or a fine of $80,000 and in June, we reported that Hope had fled Saudi Arabia with their youngest son.

Now, Adam is reunited with his wife and children in a safe location.

But the decision to leave and end his journey as a Saudi secret believer was not an easy one. He wasn’t eager to leave the country, but ultimately, friends from his church convinced him that caring for his wife and sons is his priority now.

His church friends tell us that Adam’s devotion to Christ had taken quite a toll. Earlier this month, he was beaten up  by young men sent by his brother-in-law. During the assault, he fell on a piece of sharp iron and cut his leg badly, losing quite a bit of blood. He emerged from the hospital only to spend another night in prison. And he still had no clarity about the appeal of the fine.

Adam was visibly discouraged and emotional, his friends said, repeatedly saying that he just wanted to go to Heaven. Yet Adam was determined to set a good example for his family and other believers—that he is not afraid and that it’s okay to suffer for Jesus.

A friend, Latifah, understood Adam’s torment: “If all persecuted believers leave their country, who will remain to share Christ with the lost in their country? Who will share Christ with their family and friends?” she says, anticipating questions that people might have regarding this news.

“These are questions that the persecuted wrestle with,” she said. “Each persecuted believer’s journey is different, and no one walks in their shoes except them. Adam proved himself willing to suffer persecution. He endured through painful suffering and loss. He remained faithful and continued serving the Lord through sharing the gospel. Many came to know the Lord through him.”

“When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes” —Matthew 10:23

“Adam is a strong believer,” Rasheed, another close friends says. “He is open about his faith. He wants other people to know Jesus too. He is very active in sharing about his faith publicly. Sometimes he leaves Bibles behind in the great mosque. He goes to the mosque to pray to Jesus. In a restaurant, he shared about Jesus to a group of friends.” Sadly, one of those friends betrayed Adam to the authorities.

Adam frequently joined the secret meetings of a house church. Rasheed remembers how Adam sent him a text-message on the day of his trial: “He expected that it would be his last day of freedom,” Rasheed says. “He texted me and said, ‘Know my brother that I am praying for you. That you will continue to spread the gospel, to tell about Jesus. Go on with that. Don’t worry about me.’”

Latifah reminds us that Adam’s and Hope’s ministry will continue in their new country. “Adam fought hard to remain in Saudi Arabia. He could have chosen to leave before the persecution intensified. But he stayed as he felt Saudi Arabia was his home and he desired to serve the Lord here. While his departure seems like a loss for the believers from a Muslim background in the country, he will continue to serve the Lord in his new country.”

*representative names and image used for security reasons

 

Please continue to pray with us for Adam, Hope, their children

God, we praise You for providing a way of out of this dangerous situation for Adam and reuniting him with his family. We pray that as they begin this next chapter in their lives, they would be such lights for You wherever they are. We pray that they could find a community of believers where they can worship freely—may there be many tears of joy! We ask that You would provide for their practical needs, as well as their emotional ones—as they work through the trauma of all they’ve been through. We pray for Andrew as he starts a new life, that he would be able to go to school and find a community of Christian peers. Let Your strength be his confidence. And we give all the glory and honor to You!

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