Women in the Middle East face significantly harsher forms of persecution as men dominate Middle Eastern culture. Men hold power in the household and expect women’s obedience. Females often don’t have a voice or approval to make decisions. Besides, Christian women also have to face persecution because of their faith. 'Help the Persecuted' shared the story of some Christian women, living in the Middle East, who are suffering from double persecution.
Fadilah was forced to marry at the age of 14, only to get divorced three months later. By eighteen, she married again—this time to a man who beat her and forced her to sleep in a sheep pen. That marriage also led to a divorce.
Divorce is not easy in any setting, but it’s even more devastating for Middle Eastern women. Without many opportunities for education or work, women are largely dependent on their husbands. In the case of divorce, men take their ability to earn an income, the family home, and sometimes even the children with them. Thankfully, Fadilah’s third marriage at the age of twenty-four has endured.
Farida lost everything when she decided to follow Jesus. When her conversion was revealed, her husband divorced her, her extended family abandoned her, and she lost her job. Farida’s children followed her example in accepting Christ, but they can now not go to school because of the backlash from this decision.
Sahar’s husband’s family threatened to behead her when she became a Christian. She prayed to God for deliverance. Eventually, Sahar and her family were forced to flee their home in Syria to nearby Lebanon.
Escape to another town or neighbouring country is often the only option for Christian women. It also means relying on a Savior who promises freedom from abuse and hatred.
One day, Vida’s children innocently mentioned that they attended church, which resulted in outrage from Vida’s family. Her siblings beat her, and Vida’s parents said they would murder her if anyone else from the village found out.
They gave her an ultimatum—return to Islam or leave the family. Ultimately, Vida chose to leave. She is now struggling to provide for her children financially because she has difficulty finding a job. But she is at least flourishing spiritually as a member of a local church.
Click here to read some other shocking stories and statistics about the situation of women in the Middle-East.
Photo: Help the Persecuted