There used to be hundreds of Christians in “Majd’s” village. That was 30 years ago. Now only 15 church members remain.
“This is a dangerous place since Islamic fundamentalism has spread,” he said.
“Majd” (not his name) is a pastor in his small village. He became a believer when he read in a leaflet that Jesus promised, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
This changed his life. He found a godly man to teach him about Jesus. Then “Majd” eagerly told others. “When I distributed leaflets, I found that some people wanted to learn more. But others were rude. They scolded, slapped, pulled my ears, and beat me.”
Over the years as extremism soared, slaps escalated into life-threatening attacks. Some Christians wilted under the pressure. Some migrated to less-risky areas. But “Majd” remains in his hostile village to be a witness for Jesus and serve his small congregation.
When I visited his home, he had to stop talking at one point. His family was alarmed that neighbors would overhear and cause trouble. They live under a constant threat of violence. We drove to a safe location before he continued.
When he finished, “Majd” had one request.
All he asks is that we remain faithful with him.
“Stand beside us, and we will continue our work in Him,” he told me.
Thanks to generous Christians like you, “Majd” is not standing alone. He is sponsored through Christian Freedom International. This means that Christians are praying for him, writing and encouraging him, and supporting him through monthly donations.
Will you consider sponsoring a persecuted pastor or child today?
This is just one way that we can stand together with persecuted Christians.
You can read more ways in the short stories below. They tell of persecuted Christians who are faithfully serving God and others . . . and the ways we can help them.
I hope it encourages you.
Pass it around to encourage others – so they, too, can stand with persecuted Christians.
And here is one more way to help: Will you pray for the persecuted this Christmas?
This Christmas, thanks to faithful supporters like you, many of our partners will throw Christmas parties and give gifts for persecuted Christians. Some will even invite their unbelieving neighbors.
They will share the true meaning of Christmas . . . and the greatest gift of all . . . Jesus.
When Christians in hostile countries celebrate Christmas, it makes them stand out. Christmas truly is extraordinary — no other religion celebrates a generous God who gave His Son for us.
Will you pray for Jesus to shine through “Majd” and other persecuted Christians this Christmas as they faithfully live for Him?
Have a joyous and Merry Christmas,
Wendy Wright President
P.S. “Madj” and others are faithfully serving God despite the cost. This Christmas, will you include them on your list?
Will you stand beside him and other persecuted Christians as they stand for Christ?
Helping Persecuted Christians As They Stand for Christ
Throughout the world, Christians are persecuted for following Jesus. These are a few stories of Christians working together to help them.
A School for Persecuted Christians
Persecuted Christian youth come to Christian Freedom International’s school to be transformed into Christian leaders.
Students at Victory Bible Academy are teens and young adults who escaped from Burma’s brutal war against Christian ethnic minorities. They know the pain of persecution.
At Victory, they learn valuable skills like teaching, practical trades like welding, and earn money by making t-shirts that are available for sale on Christian Freedom International’s website.
Through Victory, a new generation of leaders for persecuted Christians is rising up.
Helping Christian Refugees
In Burma’s cruel attacks on civilians, the military strikes churches and villages, forcing Christians to abandon their homes and run into the jungle.
“They attack the churches intentionally to suppress the spirit of Christians,” said Joe Scott, director of Victory Bible Academy.
After one especially violent raid, a pastor called for help. Through our school’s network of students and graduates, we were able to get food to his church members who were in hiding.
Help for Christian Families
A Christian was falsely accused of blasphemy against Islam and arrested. A mob surrounded his home. His wife frantically called Christian Freedom International’s director for help.
Our director is a Christian convert from Islam. He’s been beaten, shunned, and threatened for his faith. He is passionate about helping others who risk their lives to follow Jesus.
Thank God, the family was able to escape and stay at our shelter. We hired an attorney for the accused Christian. After nine months, he was released from jail.
Since it is too dangerous for the family to return home, we helped them to start a new life. With the generosity of Christian Freedom International’s supporters, our director arranged housing for the family, work for the parents, and schooling for the children.
A Center for “Treasures”, Survivors of Islamist Violence
Broken buildings are being renovated into the Treasure Center with support from Christian Freedom International. This recovery center is for Christian youth who survived Islamist massacres in Nigeria.
“The young people are full of potential and giftings, but the devil wants to crush their destiny,” said Rev. Andrew, who leads the Treasure Center.
“Militant Islamists have caused so much confusion. Some of the young people go to drugs to get the energy to fight the enemy .”
The need is so desperate, over 20 youth have moved in before it is finished.
Emmanuel was the first. His father, a police officer, was beheaded by Boko Haram. Emmanuel became the breadwinner for his widowed mother and 8 siblings. The pressure was too much, and he broke. Drugs led to prison.
Not long after coming to the Treasure Center, he was baptized.
“I have felt changes in my life,” Emmanuel said. “Some of the things I used to do, I don’t have the urge to anymore. I am asking God to continue working on me the way that He started.”
“God has given us to be a father to them and help them to transform. We call them our ‘Treasures’,” said Rev. Andrew.
His vision turned the Treasure Center from a dream to reality. But on top of building a safe place in a dangerous country, his team has to deal with daily challenges.
“When there is no food, they get upset and want to go home. We believe God will help us.”
A Good Neighbor for Persecuted Christians
Manosh became a Christian when God healed him of a sickness. His neighbors stole his livelihood and Buddhist monks stormed his house to try to force him to return to Buddhism.
“I have never felt fear,” he said. “Pastor Daniel strengthens us by standing by us.”
Pastor Daniel told us about Manosh, and we bought a cow for him. She came with a bonus. She was pregnant. You can see her calf peeking behind her.
“If I have to sacrifice my life, I will not give up the Lord,” Manosh said.
Jesus replaced his neighbors, who mistreated him, with the family of God, who love and support him.
Standing Beside Persecuted Christians
Pastor Daniel grew up as an orphan, abused and neglected. Then he was radically transformed by God. Now he travels to distant villages to joyfully disciple new believers, like Manosh, who live where there are no churches.
His calling is to the poorest of the poor. While he builds their faith, Christian Freedom International built a shelter and provides livelihoods for the ones who are persecuted. Only then did others tell us that Pastor Daniel could use help.
So Christian Freedom International provided a vegetable stand. This small business earns money that he uses to care for his flock.