Over the summer over 1,800 of you signed the Handmade Petition at events like Soul Survivor and Limitless to say that you see the hidden and ignored persecution facing Christian women and girls around the world. That’s an amazing amount, that helps our total tally reach more than 12,000 signatures!
All the fabric pieces you’ve made will be sewn together and presented to UK leaders as a prayer and call for action at an amazing and interactive exhibition in parliament. But it’s not just us in the UK who have signed the petition.
Image: Women from the Ananna Course in Bangladesh hold up their Handmade Petition pieces
Women in Bangladesh who are taking part in the Ananna discipleship course have also made their own petition pieces. Since 2012, Open Doors has worked with local churches in Bangladesh to run the programme for women who have experienced opposition to their faith – they are mostly converts from Islam or tribal believers. Thanks to your support and prayers, women are offered the opportunity to grow in faith and resilience and heal from their experiences.
One of the women who is part of the course is Rojina, a teacher. When she became a Christian, her neighbours tried to stop her teaching. They told her that her children couldn’t go to school, and that nobody would ever marry her daughter. In her Bangladeshi community, converting from Islam to Christianity is considered shameful.
She has been raising her children alone for over a decade, after her husband died in an accident. She decided to become a Christian when she learned about Jesus and found hope in Him. Rojina was particularly drawn to the verse “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Image: Rojina at the Ananna course
“The villagers say I am a bad woman,” she says. “They threaten me and try to stop me going to church.” Rojina has been ostracised by her community, but has greatly valued the Ananna project. Open Doors workers were also able to give her an opportunity to teach adult literacy. “Now my dream is to live out a life of Christlikeness and follow Him with steadfastness,” she says.
Thanks to the Ananna course, Rojina has been able to stay strong in her faith and find ways to help others too.
It’s not too late to sign the Handmade petition. Use the link below to find out how to sign and make sure you get your petition pieces to us by 14 October. We’ve also got a special youth/small group session that explores the issues facing young Christian women, and the petition features in that, so if you’re a youth leader, why not try it out!
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.