The Islamic State has been filling the headlines for a long time and filling the hearts of many people in the Middle East with fear. But in the midst of all this, the church in the Middle East is showing the love of Christ to those who fled their homes. Muslims in the Middle East are turning to Jesus in unprecedented numbers.
According to one of the Christian workers of a church in Lebanon, many new converts say they had their doubts about Islam before they converted. “Doubt is many times the key to start a change,” says the church worker.
Open Doors recently met with Amir*, Rasha* and their two children, who fled from Homs. Proof of the extraordinary change lies in her arms sleeping – a five month old baby girl with the very Christian name Christina.
“Since 2012, we have been living in a tent,” Amir shares. “It is not an easy life. About a year ago my wife’s mother was killed by a sniper when she went out to have some fresh air. My wife’s brother was killed on his way home.”
“About three months ago, I was given a vision of Jesus Christ,” Rasha shares. “I was sleeping and all of a sudden I saw Jesus Christ in white. He said ‘I am Christ. You will have a beautiful daughter.’ I was eight months pregnant, and a month later we received our beautiful daughter.”
At about the same time Amir also had a dream. “I saw Jesus Christ. He was dressed in white. He said to me ‘I am your Saviour. You will follow me.’”
Both Amir and Rasha made a bold decision after these dreams. “We decided to follow Him. We named our baby Christina. We left our old Islamic customs.”
Amir stopped going to the mosque, but Rasha still dresses as a Muslim woman with her head covered by a veil. “Our clan is very big; we’re afraid now. They might kill us,” says Rasha.
Amir continues: “Our family knows we are Christians now. Becoming a Christian is, for them, the same as if I had destroyed the Kaaba in Saudi Arabia. It is because we walked in the darkness and are now in the light. I want to protect my family.”
Because of the danger, they didn’t want to continue living in the tent in the camp where mainly Muslims live. With her soft and sad voice Rasha says: “We now have no fixed place to live, we go from place to place.”
Back home in Syria, Amir worked as a carpenter. “I have no work in Lebanon. Our financial situation is bad. Now, because we are Christians, others don’t want to help us. The church is helping as much as is possible.”
Gesturing with their hands and faces, they say they don’t know what the future will bring. “The most important thing is that we know Jesus Christ as our Saviour,” Amir adds. “He will save us. We regularly pray to the Lord, we freely worship Him, and He protects us. God is with us. God will resolve our situation.”
- Give thanks for the many people across the Middle East who are turning to Jesus and finding life and hope in Him.
- Pray for Amir and Rasha, and may other Muslim Background believers now living as refugees. Pray for their protection in predominantly Muslim countries and refugee camps. Pray too for provision of work for them and shelter for their families.
- Pray for Western countries to open their doors to more Christian refugees. Only a very small percentage of Christian refugees have been resettled so far, out of many thousands waiting to find a place of refuge and safety.
- Pray that Muslims across this region will continue to have dreams of Jesus and life changing encounters with Him, and that many more will come to follow the Prince of Peace as Saviour and Lord.
Romans 10 vs 1: “Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.”