Serving Persecuted Christians Worldwide - Fiona can stand up for her faith in South East Asia, thanks to you - Open Doors UK & Ireland
22 March 2024

Fiona can stand up for her faith in South East Asia, thanks to you

Answering questions about the Bible compassionately and knowledgably can be tricky – especially in countries where Christians are a minority and often targeted for their faith. But your gifts and prayers are helping young believers in South East Asia learn how to answer wisely and make a difference in their communities. 

Women in South East Asia are gathered round a table for Bible study

Thanks to an Open Doors Bible programme, Fiona can answer questions about her faith with boldness and compassion (image is illustrative)

Have you ever found yourself in a conversation about Christianity and unsure of what to say, or how to respond to questions? Thanks to your prayers and support, local Open Doors partners in South East Asia are running Bible study programmes to equip young Christians for conversations about their faith with peers and colleagues.  

Fiona* is a young woman who has recently benefited from this training. She was at work when her Muslim colleagues initiated a conversation about religion, targeting and mocking Christians. Before, Fiona would have kept silent – but on this occasion, she stood up and told her colleagues, “Your statements are speculative and false.”  

To her amazement, rather than retaliate, the group quickly dispersed. Since then, Fiona says her colleagues have refrained from mocking her faith. “That day, I started walking in the fear of the Lord, not the fear of men.” 

“I started walking in the fear of the Lord, not the fear of men” Fiona

The need for Bible study 

In the country where Fiona lives, Christians are a minority. They’re considered ‘infidels’ or traitors by the Muslim-majority culture. The challenges that believers – and, in particular, women – face in their daily lives can be overwhelming. Legal restrictions on women’s rights, workplace discrimination and diverse social perceptions of women’s roles and rights create a complex environment. 

Local Open Doors partners saw a need to equip young Christian men and women (teens and young adults) to respond to and withstand these cultural challenges within the context of their faith, so they launched an in-depth Bible study programme. More young people like Fiona are gaining a deeper understanding of God’s Word, which enables them to answer questions from their Muslim friends and colleagues wisely and compassionately. 

The goal of this teaching is not to confront, but to help create an environment where questions are welcome and mutual understanding can flourish.  

A safe space 

Before participating in the programme, Fiona didn’t feel confident enough in her knowledge of the Bible to defend her faith, particularly when her Muslim colleagues bombarded her with questions about the Trinity. 

“My faith teaches me to love everyone regardless of their background” Fiona

Reflecting on how she stood up to her colleagues’ taunts, Fiona recognises that her newfound strength came not from her own resolve but from the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit. She is thankful for the programme organisers and the profound impact this deep dive into the Scriptures has made on her faith journey. She has found she can rise above adversity and boldly defend her beliefs while fostering a stronger spiritual connection with others. 

Fiona has also become a beacon of hope for a friend who is struggling. Her unwavering acceptance and love for her friend has created a safe space where they can discuss their problems and difficulties. “My friend asked me, ‘Why do you accept me when everyone else pushes me away?’” Fiona shares. “I told her, ‘My faith teaches me to love everyone regardless of their background.’” 

Through your prayers and gifts, Open Doors partners are empowered and resourced to respond to needs of believers and start Bible study programmes like this one – equipping them to be salt and light in their communities. 

*Name changed for security reasons  

Please pray
  • That Fiona’s understanding of the Bible and her love for others will grow and deeply impact her friends and colleagues
  • For Open Doors partners as they continue this Bible study ministry, that they can reach more young people with training
  • That Christians across South East Asia will continue to make God’s love known in their communities.
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