Bring comfort and joy today
For millions of persecuted Christians around the world, Christmas is a time of heightened persecution, rejection, loneliness and often without any celebrations. And it’s during this time that they need reminding that they are never alone!
As I think of Christmas time in countries where Christians face all sorts of atrocities for our faith, I think of the pain and rejection that a young girl like 10-year old Bijli* from Bangladesh must endure.
Bijli’s family are one of just a few Christian families in their village. Her family’s decision to leave the traditional Muslim faith and follow Jesus hasn’t been easy. “In the village, Muslims are the majority. They tell us, ‘Go away, you’re Christians. You’re not the same as us,’” Bijli’s mother, Maya* shares.
The rejection and isolation are especially hard for young Bijli who has no friends. Maya explains that sometimes Bijli comes home crying because her “friends” have attacked her.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 lockdown has increased their problems as Bijli’s father was unable to earn an income due to the restrictions. When the government distributed relief aid, they were excluded because of their faith.
Thanks to the prayer and support of our partners, Open Doors could assist families like Bijli’s with emergency aid during the current pandemic. And along with other Christians in Bangladesh, they were able to attend a special Christmas celebration organised by Open Doors partners.
About 100 Christian families from a Muslim background joined in the celebration. For some, this was the first time they’ve ever met with so many other believers – and the first time they celebrated Christmas. Here there was no fear of persecution or rejection.
The celebrations also gave Bijli and children like her the chance to meet with many other Christian children and at least for a little while just be children. They could play, dance, sing and learn about their Christian faith without the fear of insults and bullying.
It’s for families like Bijli’s that we’ve launched our “Christmas around the world” campaign from November-December 2020. Our desire is that every persecuted family around the world may experience the comfort and joy of Jesus’s love this Christmas and all year round.
It’s for them that I’m asking you to give today to help reach a R1 984 000 goal before the end of 2020 to give them hope and a future by helping meet their long-term needs through biblical training, youth camps, marriage seminars, trauma care for believers of violent persecution, safe houses, emergency aid, and so much more.
Your gifts and prayers today will help persecuted families receive the protection, care and support they need to thrive. If you are able, will you prayerfully consider making a gift today – and bring hope to persecuted families like Bijli’s, giving them the gift of a safer future?
Any gift you give today will remind our persecuted family in Christ that they are loved and never alone, at Christmas and all year round.
*Names changed for security reason