Persecution of Muslim Background Believers (MBBs) is prevalent in Comoros. When MBBs like Rifka* turn from the Muslim faith and profess belief in Jesus Christ as Lord, life becomes a day-to-day struggle. Rifka’s family no longer speaks to her; they cut ties completely when her husband introduced her to his newfound faith. Her children receive Quranic instruction in their public school, and are regularly harassed by their peers and teachers. It breaks Rifka’s heart to hear her children reciting the Quranic verses they’ve learned in school, especially because they have little interest when she tries to share Bible verses with them in secret.
Radical Islam and accompanying Islamic fundamentalism, in conjunction with government and cultural pressure, continue to push Rifka and her family to the outskirts of society. They are usually denied access to available medical services, so Rifka cares for her family using her limited knowledge of home medicine. As she prays for her children, she pleads with God to guard their hearts and keep them in Christ, as her greatest fear is that they will cave under the constant pressure to deny Christ.
When the pressure becomes unbearable, Rifka remembers Jesus’ words to his disciples in John 15: “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” She takes comfort in the fact that Jesus has chosen her out of the world as His own, and in a sense, her persecution draws her closer to her Savior. Her life isn’t easy, but Rifka places her hope in a treasure far better than anything in this world; Jesus Christ is her all-in-all.
*Representative story and photo used for security reasons.