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News / Thoughts

Middle East: Me, my selfie and I!

June 18, 2018

Christians across the Middle East are facing increasing pressure and persecution. War, terror and instability are affecting the region. In places like Iraq and Syria, violence and conflict have seen numbers of Christians plummeting, whilst in Egypt violent attacks on Christians and churches are rising. Here we catch up with three Christian young people living across the Middle East. Along with a selfie, they share some of their struggles and hopes, and also how we can pray for them!

1. Youssif, 18, Iraq

“I don’t have a busy life, full of things. But the biggest challenge is my future, I guess. When we came back to our town after ISIS was expelled, I was afraid that it would be very hard: that only few people would return; that this would be a place without hope. But since we started rebuilding, things turned for the better. In a matter of time, things got really good. Although the future is still insecure, I have faith in it now.”

What is your favorite Bible text and why?
“The story about Palm Sunday, about the people welcoming Jesus as he was riding on a donkey. When he entered the city, they welcomed him with palm branches. They were happy because he was the Savior, He was a person they could follow. That is why I like this part of the Bible very much, it inspires me to follow Jesus.”

2. How can we pray for you?
“Prayer is so important! Praying makes your faith bigger and makes you stronger as a person. The most important thing to pray for is peace. If we have peace we will have a good life. And then, the people will be good people and have happiness. That is why peace is the most important thing for us.”

2. Dominica, 15, Palestinian Territories

“Sometimes, the situation I live in and the problems I face are just too much for me. I can start questioning my faith: Does it really help me to believe in Him? But after a while, when I get back on the right track. Often I find myself believing in a stronger way than before. Then I know for sure that I want to keep my faith with me for my whole life. I think those are the moments that God is at work in my life. Right when the moment is there that I’m completely hopeless, the solution comes from – seemingly – nowhere. To me, that is a message from God: I’m here, I’m going to help you, I will always find you.”

What is your favorite Bible text and why?
“I love the story about the lost sheep, about the Good Shepherd who searches for one sheep that was lost. That is God. He does not leave me and he will find me, no matter what.”

How can we pray for you?
“People should pray for Palestine as a whole, for the situation that we are living in, and for the occupation that we are suffering from. I also think they should pray for each one of us Palestinians, for the people who have been killed and for those who are living the worst lives you can imagine. They live in camps and don’t even have enough food and water. I’m blessed with everything I have, while others don’t have even one percent of what I have. They are the ones who really need prayers.”

3. Fady, 23, Egypt

“One of the challenges is that, in my university there is a lot of discrimination as soon as they know you are a Christian. Professors ask us difficult questions to let us fail, and they even harass female students with their words. No one can object to professors, as they have the ultimate power to make a student pass or fail our tests… I want to help young people who have passed through the difficulties I’ve passed through. I visit students in their dorms and read the Bible with them and pray for them. I started a Bible study group for a group of students from the same university where I study. We meet weekly in my dorm room. I am also active in the church in my village.”

What is your favorite Bible text and why?
“Proverbs 8:34-35, “Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For those who find me find life and receive favor from the Lord.”

I like this verse because I have experienced personally how blessed it is to listen to the Lord.”

How can we pray for you?
“Pray for the young Christian guys in Egypt, that they will be strong in their faith [living] within a Muslim society.”

Pray now…

Pray for the young people in this article – use their requests above and pray they would know God’s love and hope deeply in their hearts.

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