PERSECU ION International Christian Concern | May 2014
s m i t c i V n e t t Forgo Children: The Forgotten Victims of Persecution. Read their life-affirming stories inside!
Seek and You Will Find JULIET’S STORY
Though she was free, Juliet still carried with her the scars of the horrors she had survived as she sat outside the courtroom with an ICC partner. Just 14 years old, she had suffered more in two weeks than most of us will in a lifetime. Juliet lived deep in the jungle in the hills of Bangladesh. Her family, poor Christians, were grateful that despite the long walk through the jungle she had access to education. One day, on her way to school she was kidnapped by a group of five Muslim men who preceded to gang rape her for days. They forced her to sign legal documents saying she had converted from Christianity to Islam. The horror didn’t stop there, however. Once the documents were signed, she was forced to marry one of her rapists, a 50-year-old man. The ten days they held her captive seemed like an eternity. She gave up hope of ever being free. Juliet’s parents reached out to an ICC partner who aided in her search and rescue. THE SMILE GIVES IT AWAY Because of ICC’s help, Juliet sat outside the court room waiting to see if the court would allow her to legally divorce her “husband” and change her religious status back to Christian. In the crowded space of the court waiting area, she saw our partner approaching her with a big smile on her face. Tears streamed down her face as she knew she was free from the nightmare she had been trapped in. Regardless of what the court says, her Muslim kidnappers will always consider her a Muslim and would like to capture her again. They were never arrested! Because of that, Juliet lives under the care of ICC. She
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lives with other Christian children who have had similar experiences. She lives in safety and has access to a quality Christian education. She is doing well and enjoys school and learning about Jesus. Her parents are grateful for her protection and the incredible life-opportunity. Though she is shy, Juliet is rarely seen without a tiny smile on her face. Her gentle spirit and kindness are not unnoticed among the other children. Day by day, she heals and moves on from the persecution she suffered. Her life is a testament to the fact that God never leaves us or forsakes us. “If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hid me and the light become night around me,’ even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.” Psalm 139: 11-12 (NIV)
THE REALITY OF PERSECUTION IN BANGLADESH: “They hurt me many times and they made me sign the papers. I did not want to become a Muslim, but I was scared. I did not want to marry the old man, but they forced me to do that too. I never thought I would be free again.” The sad truth is that Juliet’s story is not a singular occurrence in Bangladesh. Since 2010 there have been reports of more than 25 instances of underage girls kidnapped, forcibly converted and forced to marry Muslim men. ICC is committed to helping with the legal fees required to give these girls their lives back. You can help today! 800-ICC-5441
A Letter from Egypt MINA’S STORY Egypt is home to the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. Persecuted for 1400 years, the majority of them are given the worst jobs. They struggle to get an education and are regularly persecuted by Muslim fundamentalists. The last year was one of the worst ever for Egypt’s Christians. More than 60 churches all across the country were attacked, and hundreds of Christian’s homes, shops, and vehicles were destroyed. Christians have also been the victims of dozens of kidnappings. Minya – a rural province in Upper Egypt – is ground zero for kidnappings of Christians. In just the first quarter of 2014 there were more than 20 separate cases. The witnesses – and often the victims – of this persecution are the children. This is why we’ve “adopted” 60 kids in Minya, providing financial support, education, hygeine and discipleship. “The security situation (in Egypt) is very bad. The children are afraid of demonstrations and attacks,” a partner-caretaker of our kids told ICC. Just a few months ago, while ICC’s kids were attending a prayer conference, they could hear the gunfire of Brotherhood protestors in the distance. This was a telling reminder of just how close to home these events are for them. Here, in his own words, Mina, a 13-year-old boy in ICC’s Kids Care program, tells his story: Hi, My name is Mina. I’m 13 years old, and live in Minya, Egypt. It’s a small village near the Nile River, and surrounded with farms. I live at home with just my mom. Seven years ago my dad passed away. School is hard. My teachers treat me poorly because they know that I’m a
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Christian. Sometimes the teachers don’t even want to come to class because they don’t want to teach Christian children. They make it difficult for us. Please pray that God will change them! I’m thankful for Mrs. Mary (a Kids Care-funded worker). She meets with us to make sure that we are going to school and studying our lessons. She also leads a program at the church. We go there and learn songs and Bible verses. When I grow up, I want to serve the Lord, maybe even be a pastor. Please pray for our country. We have had threats from the Muslim Brotherhood. We are so scared here in our country. They have weapons and threaten to burn our churches. Everybody here, old and young, talking about politics and about our country’s condition, which the Brotherhood destroyed. I want to live in peace, without being afraid. I thank you for your care. I know you are praying for me! God bless you, Mina
THE REALITY OF PERSECUTION IN E G Y P T: Through the Kids Care program, ICC steps in to fill the gap physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We help meet the most basic needs with food packages, school supplies, school clothes, medical checkups, and discipleship for 70+ kids. With a full-time worker in the village, they also receive counseling and care to address the emotional problems. The entire program works together with the local church to ensure the kids are growing in their spiritual lives!
You can help today! 800-ICC-5441
YOU CAN HELP TODAY! SEND DONATIONS TO: ICC PO BOX 8056 SILVER SPRING, MD 20907 OR ONLINE AT WWW.PERSECUTION.ORG
GIVING TO ICC VIA YOUR WILL Provide now for a future gift to ICC by including a bequest provision in your will or revocable trust. If you would like more information on giving to ICC in this way, please give us a call at 1-800-ICC-5441.
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