Students forced to give up scholarship

July 15, 2022 by Noah Cassetto in Asia

In the Philippines, 38 students from a Muslim background were offered scholarships to learn more about Jesus.

But because of where the students came from, the mere offer of this kind of education resulted in persecution.  

When Islamic religious leaders found out that the scholarships were coming from Christians, they informed the students’ parents that their children were being brainwashed to convert to Christianity. Some students were forced to decline the scholarship. 

“We will drop out of the program to show respect,” one of them said, “but we will continue to attend the fellowships.” 

These scholarships have helped transform students’ knowledge of Jesus. Aged 13-18, scholarship recipients are active in their communities and can pursue an education in Christian studies, which can deepen their faith and spark their hearts for the gospel. Unfortunately, many of their Muslim parents are hesitant to let their children study Christianity and can force them to decline the education. Religious leaders can exert a similar pressure on students and parents to stop their studies.  

Despite these threats, there is still a positive response to the scholarship offers. Although there are concerns that more students could drop out, 33 are still in the program and are learning the basic tenets and values of Christianity. Those who have dropped out can still attend discipleship studies.  

Nothing about the program is forced—students do not have to claim faith in Christ to access the scholarship. But we are praying that it may open students’ eyes to the love that Christ has for them. 

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Join us in praying for the students in this program. Let’s pray that the students in the program would not leave, that their parents would allow them to stay. Ask God to soften hearts, students’, parents’ and religious leaders’ so that students can have a chance to hear the gospel. More than anything, let’s pray that these students would grow in their understanding of God and Jesus’ love for them.