Fady is a young Christian in his mid-twenties. He lives in a small town a few hundred miles south of Cairo, the capital of Egypt. He lives in a typical Egyptian rural village where life is based largely around farming.
Fady is at university. He’s in his second year studying engineering. He shares about his life growing up as a Christian in a largely Muslim country, how being a Christian puts him and his friends at a disadvantage to his Muslim counterparts and how a youth worker changed his life:
“A friend of mine was doing very well at the school of medicine. He should have been appointed as a teacher’s assistant, but he was never allowed to because he was a Christian, even after five years of very hard work and studying. Another friend’s yearly grades were deliberately reduced by the Muslim professors to allow other Muslim students to bypass his excellence”.
“Many of the Muslim professors will ask a student about his/her name. In many cases, a Christian student is easily identified by their names. If the professor knows a student is a Christian, he/she intentionally asks them difficult and twisty questions so they get bad grades. Harassment of Christian female students is frequently reported. No one could argue with the professors as they have the ultimate power to make a student pass or fail a given subject test. Objection to discriminatory behaviour is just enough to make the professor fail the student.”
Open Doors partners work to support young Christian people in Egypt, especially when discrimination impact their lives. Fady remembers how his life was changed because of a specific youth programme and leader:
“The youth ministry revived my life and restored my destroyed life… there was one leader who showed interest in me. He listened to me and helped me to speak out about my painful past which released the negative experience that had kept me imprisoned inside myself for years.
“I remember one day this leader took me out for a walk and said ‘Fady, I want you to talk about your sufferings in the past.” I told him about all the disappointments and shames of my past. I told him how much I was chained by pornography, how I was crippled with lying and other bad behaviors. I was in tears and so was he. I was expecting him to preach at me and tell me how wrong I was, but I only saw a supportive smile on his face that helped me to feel valued and loved. That night I felt a heavy burden was lifted up from my shoulders. It was the first night in a long time that I could sleep soundly.
“As I stayed close to the ministry group, I started to change. I didn’t have to stay lonely and fight alone any longer. I found people were genuinely caring for me, praying for me and helping me to grow in a true relationship with Jesus.
“I started to learn how to lift my eyes from focusing on myself. My character was developed. I got to know the amazing fact that God has a calling for my life. The ministry leaders managed to turn our focus to seek to know God’s call. I attended a Bible study course and a training on how to evangelize. My life was completely changed, so was my focus and my priorities.
“I now visit the students in their dorms and read the Bible with them and pray for them. I started a bible study for a group of students from the same university where I study. We meet weekly in my dorm room. I want to help young people who have passed through the difficulties I’ve passed through. I even help now in my local church. I wish to be effectively useful for the young people in my village church.
“My main dream now is to make sure I know and live God’s call for my life, and to help many young people from my region to follow Jesus. I pray that even if the situation around us is difficult and in spite of the daily challenges we face as Christian young people, we may still continue to shine for Jesus and show people the way to meet with Him.”
Open Doors partners in Egypt help support youth groups like the one Fady has found so life-changing.
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.