This March, when we celebrate International Women’s Day, we want to ask your attention to our persecuted sisters. As is sometimes the case in Brazil, discrimination against women is a reality in the vast majority of countries. Although there are advances, there is still much to do and to make us have a more egalitarian society. Women are still often considered inferior.
I was able to live this situation when, a few months ago, I had the opportunity to attend the Standing Steady Through the Storm Open Doors training in India. Christians from all over the country had been in contact with the local team for five days. Among the meetings, what struck me most was the one with sister Nadja. I still remember his excitement at sharing the challenges of being a Christian in a society where people believe that “being Indian is being Hindu.”
Nadja represents several other sisters. Though hostile, they seek to remain strong and vigorous. Many try to find opportunities for overcoming.
One of them is Rebecca, a Nigerian widow whose husband was killed by extremists. At the height of her pain, she reports, “When I heard that my husband had been killed, I was shocked.”
In Syria, Halimah * says that: “A crisis is difficult, but it brings opportunities.” She explains that many men have died and women are taking on new responsibilities.
Hwa-Young * is another sister who has taken up the challenge of taking Christian work with North Korean women in exile in China.
This month, when the value of women is celebrated, the stories of overcoming these sisters (and so many others) in the midst of persecution bring us great teachings. I invite you to remember them in your prayers and to act so that you may persevere in the faith.