Faced with war, violence and terror, many Christians across Iraq and Syria haven’t just fled home, but have left their countries altogether. Artin was one of them. He’s just 19 and from a largely Christian town on Iraq’s Nineveh Plain called Al Qosh. The town is so close to the frontline that some villagers have had to leave their homes up to six times over the past few years because of fears that Islamic State soldiers were coming.
Like many, Artin travelled to Turkey, but after a while he missed his friends and family too much, so, despite the danger, he returned to Al Qosh. Not wanting to rely on handouts, Artin set up a barber shop with the help of a start-up grant from an Open Doors partner. He now earns a decent living, meaning he can stay and build a future for himself in Iraq. And, he’s keen to help others who have been displaced too:
“They can get a haircut for a reduced rate, and currently I am training two refugees to become barbers themselves. As soon as they have mastered the skills, they will be able to open their own shop, so they can make a living as barbers.”
Proud owner of a nice hipster beard or moustache? Love styling your hair? How about making an ultimate statement of solidarity – a sponsored shave! Raise money by cutting off your precious locks or embrace life without facial hair. Rise to the challenge and go clean shaven for a month, or try out a buzz cut.
As you collect sponsorship, tell people about Artin and the reason for your shave. When it comes to the day of the shave, gather a crowd, share some of the stories in this guide and get people to sign the One Million Voices of Hope petition to help ensure Christians have a future in the Middle East. Plus, send us your pics and vids too!
It’s not just about shaving off your locks. Get our free fundraising pack to see how in running, riding, baking, sewing, going silent, making music or doing any of the things that you love, you can be raising money, prayer and awareness for your persecuted family!
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.