Stories

Sarah’s Workplace Persecution

August 4, 2015 by Brett Tarbell in ,

Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. – 1 Peter 2:18

The second half of this verse is much easier said than done.

Have you ever experienced the stress of a hostile work environment? One where you’re mistreated, taken advantage of – even harassed? Some people refer to this type of workplace as “toxic,” and the description is horribly fitting. Emotional and physical well-being pay the price for the accompanying stress. Sarah*, a Christian in Tajikistan, endures one of these work environments daily. The thing is, in Sarah’s case, it’s because of her faith in Jesus Christ.

It all began about a month ago, when Sarah took some time off for vacation. While she was away from work, her colleagues began to have spiritual conversations surrounding the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Someone brought up Sarah’s Christian faith, which really didn’t sit well with the director of the company. Even though he knew she was on vacation, the director made Sarah come back early, just so the two of them could discuss her Christian beliefs.

For four whole hours, the director pressured Sarah to leave Christ and return to Islam, even promising her a raise and faster promotions if she complied. When she declined, he threatened to fire her, but said he’d give her some time to reconsider her decision. Since their conversation, Sarah says her workload has increased dramatically, and the director recently gave her an ominous warning that her name is now on some type of list.

As you go about your workweek, please pray for Sarah. She and others around the world deal with persecution in the workplace daily – all of it on top of the usual work-related stress that we experience. And if you find yourself stressing at work this week, remember that your brothers and sisters feel your pain and more. Take a moment to pray for them as you grab your coffee; as you go to lunch; as you take your afternoon walk. As Sarah asks, pray that God would help them to love their employers and colleagues – even those who persecute them.

*Representative name and photo used for security reasons.

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