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News / Thoughts

Maryam: A secret believer

July 14, 2015

“There is no other way to live than like a Muslim. You have to study the Quran. At school, everywhere is taught the Quran,” says Maryam*, a secret believer in the Middle East. “I did not feel anything about Allah in my heart. I did not feel joy, did not have good contact with God, but I longed for that. ‘Allah does not have love,’ I thought. Because of that, I stopped studying the Quran.”

Her aunt went to a house church and one day Maryam went with her. “What I heard there about Jesus, I did not like it at all,” she remembers, “but inside of me something happened. I wanted to continue with the love of Jesus and I started to like going to that church.”

However, she was afraid of the government. “At that time I worked in a job that was state controlled. Every time they gave us questionnaires that we should fill out, and one of the questions is about religion. Of course you have to fill out: ‘Muslim’. But I could not do that anymore.”

She learned a lot about the Bible and about Jesus in her house church. “I was able to understand the Bible, I saw the good Lord of the Bible, saw His love – that changed my life.” After six years of searching, she gave her life to Jesus.

Fortunately, Maryam’s family don’t mind that she goes to church. “Neighbors are the problem,” she says. “The government tells on radio and TV that if you know a person that is not dedicated to the government or to Islam you should go to the police and tell them – when you suspect someone of being a Christian.”

“I was able to understand the Bible, I saw the good Lord of the Bible, saw His love – that changed my life.”

After she became a Christian she left her job. “Much too dangerous,” she says. “Now I am working part time with some small companies, who are not asking about faith.”

She does not know if she is observed by the secret police because of her former job. “But I have to be careful, they are able to kill me,” she says. “Sometimes people are killed, sometimes they have to leave the country. Maybe, if they catch me, I will be killed, but this week of training took away my fear.”

She told her story to an Open Doors worker at a discipleship training seminar for secret believers in a safe location. She was about to study three discipleship courses over the internet, and the fourth in person. “The course on location is very good,” she says.

After the training seminar she wants to teach the course to others. “I want to share and give love. My dream after this training is to have house groups with my family members, friends and colleagues to teach them.”

The Open Doors worker who met Maryam was very positive about this young, dedicated woman. “She has a passion for Jesus and a heart that is willing to learn as soon as possible all the things she needs in life and for her life as a Christian.”

Support your family in the Middle East

When a Muslim becomes a Christian in the Middle East, they can face incredible pressure to return to Islam. You can help them to continue in their walk with Jesus by:

Praying. An Open Doors worker says of Maryam: “We have to surround her in our prayers. Please pray for Maryam.” Specific prayer points are below.
Giving. £15 could provide a Muslim background believer with a Bible and the discipleship training they need to remain strong in their faith. Give online here…
Holding a Secret Screening. Raise money and awareness by gathering your mates for a Secret Screening. Find out more and get our free pack here…

*name changed for security reasons

Please pray…

  • For protection for secret believers in the Middle East like Maryam
  • For God to use Open Doors secret discipleship training to help many young believers grow in faith
  • For Maryam’s dream of hosting house groups full of her family and friends to come true
  • For wisdom for Open Doors partners who are doing the difficult work of discipling secret believers.

We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.