Women Middle East | 23-3-2024

No woman is worthless


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Women are already vulnerable in the Middle East – but Christian women are made to feel worthless. You can help a woman know her value in Christ.

Anger blazed in her father’s eyes as he flipped over the kitchen table and roared at Sara*. “All this time you asked about Christianity, I thought it would pass. But apparently I did not raise you right!”

He snatched Sara’s phone and locked her in her bedroom. Sara remained there, trapped, for 10 whole days. Later, she discovered her father had erased her name from the family records.

It was a brutal, ruthless rejection – all because this young woman had turned her back on Islam and chosen Jesus instead.


“After I found Christ, my life transformed completely.”

For months, Sara, who lived in Iraq, had been reading a Bible given to her by a Christian friend. The loving God she discovered in Scripture couldn’t be more different from the God of Islam she’d been raised to fear. “After I found Christ, my life transformed completely,” said Sara.

But now, spurned by the family she loved, Sara felt worthless. She’s not the only one.

Under attack

Across the Middle East, women are vulnerable. They have fewer rights than men and limited opportunities. But if a woman is also a disciple of Christ, her vulnerability is exploited and she becomes the target for intense persecution.


“God brought me down to my lowest, only to lift me up again.”

While men tend to face violent, physical and public attacks for their faith, the persecution of women is insidious and cruel. According to Open Doors’ latest report on Gender-Specific Religious Persecution, the value of Christian women is under attack.

Women are shamed by sexual violence, devalued by forced marriage, and stripped of their identity by the loss of work and independence. Often, their suffering is hidden because persecution happens behind closed doors.

Simin’s story

Simin*, from Iran, was a young nurse when she opened a Bible for the first time – and God touched her heart.

“In the Bible, women have so much value. We are seen!” she exclaimed. “I felt I was walking with Jesus, and it changed me.”

But faith cost Simin dearly. Her family mocked her. Her father said she’d lost her mind. “Islam and the regime in Iran destroy the identity of women and almost all women are broken,” she said. One day, Simin’s home was raided by police – and her sense of worth was stripped away.

"My husband and I were in prison for 18 days. Just a few hours after we were found guilty, the hospital called to say I was fired," said Simin. "We realised the only way to survive and keep serving Jesus was to flee Iran. It was terrifying, but we had to sacrifice."

Sara reading the Bible. Your support can provide Scripture material to nurture the faith of persecuted women and help them know their worth in Christ.

God-given potential

No woman should be made to feel worthless. Women like Sara and Simin need to know their value in Christ. They need your help to fulfil their God-given potential.


“In the Bible, women have so much value. We are seen!”

Your gifts and prayers can provide persecuted women with desperately needed leadership and discipleship training, trauma care and pastoral support. At Centres of Hope across the Middle East, you can help women grow in faith, start their own businesses, and support one another.

For Sara, rejected by loved ones, the care of her global church family means the world. She escaped her father and now attends a Centre of Hope church in northern Iraq. Her dream is to get an identity card which states her Christian faith.

“I’ve never regretted the decision I made,” said Sara. “God brought me down to my lowest, only to lift me up again.”

And for Simin, who lost her home, job and freedom, your support strengthens her to serve other women. “I’m getting better, mentally and spiritually. I’m not there yet, but I understand the pain of other women and I want to comfort them.”

Two different stories. Two women made to feel worthless by persecution. But one powerful church family, which can lift up persecuted women so they know their value in Christ.

*Names have been changed to protect their identities

please pray
  • For Simin, that her faith will grow and she’ll have the strength to support other women
  • For Sara, that she would deeply know her value as a cherished, unique child of God
  • For courage for women across the Middle East who are shamed, mocked and made to feel worthless because of their faith.
please give
  • Every HK$190 could provide Scripture material to four women, to nurture their faith
  • Every HK$260 could give a Christian woman food to help her family survive for a month
  • Every HK$430 could help a persecuted woman start a small business, giving her financial security
*Any excess funds will be used to strengthen other persecuted Christians where urgent help is needed.