By Katy Evans 5 March 2024 4 MIN

Women of the Persecuted Church | Simin’s Story

Women of the persecuted church often face the double persecution of being Christian and being a woman. Like many women of the persecuted church, Simin’s story is one of hope.

The God Who Sees Me

“They said if I return to Islam, I could have it all… But how could I forget what Jesus had done for me? The price was huge, but we wanted to pay it; He was worth it.” As Simin* remembers the day she met Jesus, the miracles, the house church, the arrests, the pain of separation from her daughter and the urgent flight across the border during the COVID-19 pandemic, but her sacrifices haven’t been in vain. Being a Christian woman in the Middle East means that Simin’s sacrifices for Jesus have been unfathomable. Why, then, does she continue to pay the price?

A silent cry in the face of persecution

Looking back, Simin recalls the beginning of her relationship with Jesus. It all started when her husband, then just a friend, gave her a Bible as a gift. Page after page, she began to discover a world beyond her own — a world of possibility for what life with God could look like, despite what she knew of religion living in a staunchly Islamic nation. Exploring how God related to women in the Bible changed everything for Simin.

“The Bible became very attractive to me because of its attitude toward marriage; it was very different than the world of Islam,” she explains, “In the Bible, women have so much value, we are seen.”

The persecution began immediately. Her family rejected her beliefs, churches were closed by the authorities in front of her eyes, and she was at risk of losing her job due to her faith.

When trusting Jesus is the only option

One summer morning in 2019, Simin and her husband awoke to the authorities in her house. One official grabbed her husband by the arm and put him in handcuffs. Screaming, she ran to grab her little girl, and as she held her, she too was arrested and taken to the police station, simply for being a Christian. Their home, once filled with prayer and worship, was now filled with fear.

Simin was interrogated for days, separated from her husband and daughter, and told that they should be thankful that the abuse wasn’t worse. Their sick daughter was held by authorities and refused any medical attention. She was afraid, but God’s love gave her courage. She knew God was with her.

“It was just me, my little daughter’s socks, and Jesus in the cell,” she remembers. It gave her hope.

A changed woman is a changed community

After 18 days, Simin and her family were eventually released, charged with “propaganda against the regime.” Because of this charge, they had to flee their home country, starting their lives over completely. Being in a new place meant that Simin and her husband were disconnected from their community, but this has only inspired their ministry of inclusion of women of God in the body of Christ, by showing them they are seen and loved by God and by His people.

After connecting with Open Doors’ partners, she started to teach the Bible online to the women of the persecuted church in the Middle East, equipping them to lead home churches.

“I’m not completely in a safe zone yet, but I understand the pain of those women. I want to comfort and serve them!”

Simin knows that there is nothing more healing for a lonely, tired heart than knowing that God sees you, especially for the women of the persecuted church.

Support Women of the Persecuted Church

Today, you can support ministries like Simin’s in the Middle East. Just $50 could sustain an online ministry like Simin’s for a month, reminding vulnerable women that God sees them and you do too.

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