It took England until injury time to score a winner against Tunisia last week. Tunisia plays it’s last game of the 2018 World Cup on Thursday at 7pm, and with England already through, take the time to pray for Christians in Tunisia that are being silenced because of their choice to follow Jesus. Check out Maysam’s story below to see why we’re kicking off and asking you to pray when they play!
“A month after my conversion my family discovered it. My brothers even threatened to kill me.”
This is the story of Maysam*, a believer from a Muslim background in Tunisia. When her family discovered her faith, they put her under house arrest and stopped her from attending university.
“‘You will stay at home, you are not worthy to study,’ my parents said. My sister beat me, my mother tried to break my glasses. They locked me in the room of my parents.”
But as she slept, imprisoned in her own home, she recalls hearing the voice of the Lord: “Don’t think that you are alone; I am always with you.”
She found a way to escape, but her family eventually convinced her to return home once more. When she got back, one of her brothers told her: “You need to choose: return to being a Muslim, where you will remain at home, you will not study or work, and you will wait for a husband who will take you as a shame. Or, remain a Christian and have no place with us.”
When Maysam made it clear that she wouldn’t leave her new faith, her family started trying to beat her again. “He [Maysam’s brother] came to beat me, but his hand was stopped centimetres from my face. He tried to hit me with his knee, but his knee also stopped without touching me. Then I hugged him.”
Tunisia, Maysam’s home, is number 30 on the 2018 World Watch List. Although the constitution of Tunisia currently respects freedom of religion and conversion is not prohibited, every Tunisian is automatically registered as a Muslim at birth. No new church has been granted registration since 1956, and the Tunisian authorities prevent Christian books in Arabic from being imported.
Every believer from a Muslim background in Tunisia has a story of opposition, rejection and persecution. But your prayers and support are enabling Open Doors partners to provide Tunisian believers with training, Christian literature, socio-economic development projects and advocacy support through local churches and partners.
After her family delivered their ultimatum, Maysam fled her home once more. “I am alone now. My mother told me through the phone that I am no longer her daughter. But I have since found a new spiritual family in the church. God never leaves me alone.”
Want to make a noise and blow the whistle on persecution during the World Cup? Check out our quality ideas, including using our ‘Pray when they play’ Panini inspired cards. There’s one for Tunisia, and 6 other countries featuring in the World Cup who are also on this year’s Open Doors World Watch List.
*Name changed for security reasons
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.