Stories

Your Support Brings New Hope To Persecuted Christians In Countries Like Pakistan

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How vital training programs are transforming an entire community

The Christian community in Pakistan has come under increasing persecution over the last few years, experiencing intensified suffering at the hands of Islamic extremists. For example, in recent years a growing number of young Christian women in Pakistan have been coerced into marrying Muslim men. In addition, Christians are being marginalized in the workplace and young Christian men are often forced to quit school early, with the result that they are unable to obtain jobs that can support a family, or even a wife. Though the situation in countries like Pakistan is increasingly difficult for Christians, your gifts are providing vital support, which is strengthening the lives of countless suffering brothers and sisters in this region. Pastor Javid is a great example.

Empowered through training

Pastor Javid’s ministry has been increasingly difficult as persecution has intensified in his community (which cannot be revealed for security purposes). Lacking training to deal with the trauma and challenges of intense persecution, Pastor Javid has struggled to meet the growing needs of his small congregation. But Pastor Javid’s ministry has been transformed through vital training programs through ministry partners, supported by Open Doors. He recently told one of our contacts… “Though I am a pastor, I never received an education or even training. I so wanted to help the members of my community, but did not have the needed resources to do so. But a few months ago I had the chance to attend a Project Alive conference, a program to strengthen pastors who work in communities where Christians face severe persecution.” “I praise God for this conference as it provided me the training I needed to help the Christians in my community who were facing persecution because of their faith.” A good example of the impact of this training is a young girl in Pastor Javid’s church named Noreen. Noreen was weak in her faith and began secretly dating her Muslim neighbor. She hid her five-year relationship from her family, as she knew they would not approve. “Noreen was one of the few girls in our community who was able to pursue an education. It was very difficult to reach out to her before I received this training, as I had no formal education. But after attending this training, I was able to preach in a way that truly challenged her.” In the weeks that followed, Noreen was convicted by Pastor Javid’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 me about this issue. Through the training I received, he was able to counsel Noreen and her family through this very difficult situation.” The most difficult moment came when she ended her relationship with her neighbor. He was extremely upset and began to make violent threats. The situation became so dangerous that Pastor Javid arranged for Noreen and her family to leave their village and find a safer place to live. Today, Noreen and her family are safe but must remain in hiding for the foreseeable future. Through your support, Open Doors was able to work with ministry partners to strengthen Pastor Javid through the Project Alive program, which, in turn, led to Noreen growing in her faith and becoming a committed follower of Christ. Thank you! 14-jan-app-cta

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