An annual gathering in southern Philippines has brought together more than a thousand believers from Muslim backgrounds – and led to 36 giving their lives to Jesus and getting baptised!
More than a thousand believers from Muslim backgrounds gather for an event hosted by Open Doors local partners
God is on the move in the Philippines! Despite persecution and poverty, more than a thousand Christians from Muslim backgrounds gathered for a celebration that was full of surprises.
Each year, Open Doors local partners host a full day of worship and thanksgiving for believers from Muslim backgrounds. The latest gathering was the first large-scale event since the pandemic – and the numbers were more than double what they normally are!
This included a house church of 100 people, many of whom gave their lives to Jesus during the pandemic. These believers are poor and getting to the event is costly, but such was their desire to join with other likeminded Christians, they saved up and put their money together to rent a large boat to accommodate them all.
"We are now more encouraged than ever to keep going and continue in our walk with Christ" Kalti
“Glory to God, through the gathering, our faith was renewed,” said Kalti*, who leads the house church. “We are now more encouraged than ever to keep going and continue in our walk with Christ.”
“This is how it feels to be a daughter of a King,” shared Maris*, who recently became a Christian. “I am not ashamed to dance because all I want to do is give glory and thanks to Christ.”
The good news doesn’t end there, because in the afternoon 36 people got baptised! This included Tari*, who approached Shara*, one of the believers, during a song played in the morning celebration. “Shara, Christ is truly the true God. I have decided now to accept Christ into my life and to be baptised this afternoon.”
The gathering also catered for children, with around 600 in attendance. Some stayed with their families, whilst others participated in separate activities that included singing and games.
Those at the event came from three different Muslim tribes. Despite each having their own language, with each tribe having a representative to lead songs in their respective languages, they all mingled and celebrated together, culminating with a joint thanksgiving dance. As Paul says in Galatians 3:28, “For you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
The leaders of the different house groups that joined the gathering are immensely grateful for your support and prayers, because without it the event wouldn’t take place. The believers who attended face many challenges for their faith, including pressure and isolation, and being with other Christians from similar backgrounds offers a precious opportunity to be strengthened and encouraged.
Thank you for your incredible support. Please continue to pray for these believers, because growth in faith and numbers brings heightened risk of persecution.
*Names changed for security reasons
The World Watch List parliamentary launch represents a wonderful opportunity to highlight the plight of our persecuted family to those in power. Last year, more than 90 MPs attended the event – and that's because they were invited by Open Doors supporters like you! Can you invite your MP to this year's event? It's taking place on Wednesday 18 January.
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