The new 2019 World Watch List report reveals a dark reality for girls and women who are persecuted for both their gender and their faith. In some societies, violent attacks on women and girls are simply a highly effective means of inflicting debilitating and long-term physical and emotional damage on Christians in that area and even worldwide.
That’s why as the Body of Christ, we need to be voices of encouragement and prayer for women like Aisha whose story is, unfortunately, not uncommon for women in the 50 countries on the World Watch List. Warning – Aisha’s story includes sexual violence and may trigger those who have experienced sexual violence themselves.
Aisha is a 28-year-old wife and mother of three children from Nigeria (up from #14 in 2018 to #12 on this year’s World Watch List). Tragically two years ago, Aisha’s northern Nigerian community of Kano was attacked by Hausa-Fulani Islamic militants who forced their way into her home. They saw a Bible in the room and assumed Aisha’s husband was a pastor. Immediately, they grabbed him and took him away. She assumed they would kill him. Then the men demanded sex from her. When she refused, they beat her up. Two of the attackers raped her.
Thankfully, Aisha’s story doesn’t end there. A few hours later, her husband returned. When he asked her what happened, she didn’t want to tell him. Finally, she found the words, and her husband pledged to stay by her side. Aisha is still emotionally traumatized at times. Fortunately, she has twice participated in Open Doors’ trauma care and counseling where she has found healing.
She asks, “Tell the world these things we are going through in Nigeria.”
Would you take a few minutes and write this brave sister in Christ a letter of encouragement? Let Aisha know that the world is hearing about what she and women in northern Nigeria are going through. That we are listening to their stories.
And that they are not alone.
*Representative names and photos are sometimes used to protect identity.
You can send a physical letter through the mail or a digital message using the form on this page. This letter-writing opportunity is available through June 8, 2019.
Please send all physical letters and cards to:
Open Doors USA
PO Box 27001
Santa Ana, CA 92799
If you would like to participate in more opportunities like this, you can regularly participate in writing letters to persecuted Christians in many countries by bookmarking and revisiting
(make short link: https://www.opendoorsusa.org/take-action/advocacy/letter-writing/)