Join us on Saturday 3 October for Standing Strong Online: a free evening event of inspiration, encouragement and stories of courageous faith from persecuted Christians around the world. Find out more about our speakers from Syria and Nigeria below!
If you’ve already booked on to Standing Strong Online, or you still need some convincing, here’s a little bit about our guest speakers…
Pastor George leads a church in Qamishli, northern Syria. You may have already caught a glimpse of him on our website or in the September magazine – this is how you’re helping his church to flourish in the midst of war and Covid-19.
Pastor George’s church stands as a Centre of Hope for persecuted Christians in the area, and, thanks to your prayers and support, he and his church were able to offer shelter and food parcels, as well as spiritual and other practical support.
His courage and perseverance in the face of danger is astounding – he was recently kidnapped and interrogated by local militias about plans to rebuild the church hall. “As a church we are not frightened,” Pastor George says. “We trust that God will continue His work; under any circumstances He will help us and protect us!”
Elias works for an Open Doors partner serving the church in Syria. He studied at both Greenwich University and Wycliffe Hall in Oxford, returning to Aleppo, Syria in 2009. “I passed through the toughest days of Aleppo,” he says. “In the same time, it was a blessing. At the beginning of the (Syrian war) crisis I got engaged. During the siege in 2013, I got married. When my daughter was born in 2015, I decided to move to Lebanon, where God has led me to serve the church in Syria in wider perspective.”
Sulieman was raised in a Christian family, who were believers from a Muslim background. Growing up, he experienced a lot of discrimination and even beatings, insults and mistreatment because of his faith in Christ.
He has travelled to various countries to speak about the persecuted church in Nigeria, sharing their stories of persecution and courageous faith, and about the impact of Open Doors’ support through local partners and churches in Nigeria.
He passionately believes in the power of prayer and compassionate action to provide hope for those who are desperately persecuted for their faith – he'll be sharing his exciting vision for the church in Nigeria at Standing Strong.
If you were at Standing Strong last year, you will have met the wonderful Tirham. As a volunteer at an Open Doors trauma centre in Nigeria, she meets many women and men who have been persecuted for their Christian faith and helps them heal from what they have experienced and understand a deeper level of God’s love for them.
She says, “Volunteering work with Open Doors has given me a large wealth of experience working with people who are traumatised because of persecution. Violent conflict and killings in the north east, southern Kaduna and north/central Nigeria have left mostly women and children homeless and emotionally wounded.
“The act of listening to victims of violence and allowing them share their frustration, humiliation and fear for the future proves to be very helpful. They are able to open their hearts to share their ordeal and express their fear and sometimes suicidal tendencies. With my training on trauma healing I am able to debrief them on what trauma is, and how it affects them and that their experiences are normal.”
We’re really excited to hear from Pastor George, Elias, Sulieman and Tirham on Saturday 3 October – join us for an amazing evening of worship, prayer and challenging stories of courage and hope from the persecuted church.
*Names changed for security
Register for Standing Strong today - you don't want to miss it!
Why not invite your church or small group? You never know who may be inspired by the courageous faith of the persecuted church...