Karima*, a refugee from Aleppo, still covers her hair, but the change in the way she dresses compared with when she first arrived in Lebanon is obvious. She became a Christian more than two years ago, and now, along with her husband who is also a convert, works with one of the churches in Lebanon as a teacher to Syrian refugee children.
Both Karima and her husband had their doubts about Islam before they came to Lebanon, where she saw miracles happen in her life because the pastor of a church prayed for her. God provided a place for them to live, a job and even healed her seriously sick son.
“Up until now, my parents didn’t know about my conversion because they fled to another country. My family is very conservative; they are Shiites. If they heard about my conversion, they would kill me. We would lose our children.”
Since her conversion, she has participated in discipleship groups. “The biggest change in my life is that I know I have eternal life. My name is written in the book of life. God gave me peace in my life and He gave me joy. Life is beautiful, even in the midst of all the trouble.”
The couple wants to move abroad with their two children. “We applied for visas to a Western country. We cannot go back to Syria as believers from a Muslim background. A normal life for us as converts will be impossible; they could take away our children.”
Karima isn’t surprised by the persecution. “The Bible teaches us that we as Christians will be persecuted.”
A pastor of a church in Lebanon explains that they are certainly not the only ones coming to Christ in this period of war. “Churches have changed a lot because of the refugee crisis in Lebanon,” he said. “God is at work in a special way. We see a lot of new faces being baptised. In the coming few years, we will be the minority, and believers from other backgrounds will be the majority.”
The pastor confirms that consequences for these new believers are enormous. “They have to leave their context and their families. They know that whoever leaves Islam should be killed. These wonderful new believers will become preachers all over the Middle East. God is waking up a sleeping church; a new nation of new believers is being born.”
- Give thanks for Karima and her family, and for the many other new Muslim background believers amongst Syrian refugees.
- Pray for protection for these new believers and their families, and for courage to share their new found faith and hope with others who need this same hope.
- Pray for churches in Lebanon working amongst refugees, for compassion and love to flow from the heart of Jesus to these needy people.
- Pray for good discipleship of Muslim background believers, and for this “new nation of new believers” to impact the Middle East with the Gospel of Jesus.
Matthew 16 vs 18: “And I tell you … on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.”