Since the founding of Help the Persecuted in 2011, Leading The Way has been able to provide practical help to Christians who have been cast out of their families, jobs, and homes—including care to countless Christians in Middle Eastern refugee camps. We have also been able to provide medical care to those who have been physically abused and financial assistance to churches destroyed by arson and vandalism.
The cause of the persecuted can seem distant to those of us who have never experienced it firsthand. So this month, we want to share with you a personal story of someone who, despite persecution, is standing strong for the name of Jesus.
Kaleb, whose name has been changed to protect his identity, is one such Christian.
Kaleb’s journey to Christianity began when he witnessed strife within his own religion. Having been taught his faith was in a unified religion, this division troubled Kaleb, and he began to pray that God would give him direction.
Guidance came unexpectedly in the form of a dream. Kaleb recounts how he dreamt of a publicly known Muslim convert to Christianity. Startled, Kaleb sought out this man. Eventually, he found the convert, who led him to Christ. That was over 30 years ago.
Since then, Kaleb has suffered continual persecution. When his community learned of his conversion, they confiscated all of his possessions, including the land he used to grow crops. Speaking through a translator, he recalls, “They took everything I had. I did not even have enough to eat.” How did he cope? “ I cried,” he says, “but I said, ‘Jesus is enough for me.’”
The suffering did not end there. In 2001, a group angry that Kaleb refused to renounce Christianity and return to Islam, decided to accuse him of being a member of Al Qaeda. The government put Kaleb in prison. In a familiar turn of events, the police came to his home and took all his possessions. It was almost a year before officials were convinced Kaleb was a Christian and not a member of an Islamic terror group. Kaleb was freed.
Although he is no longer behind bars, Kaleb now suffers a different kind of imprisonment. Having failed to physically isolate him, opponents of his Christian faith sought to socially isolate him by tarnishing his reputation with local leaders. The scheme worked; Kaleb’s community now treats him as a pariah. “They do not associate with me. They do not sit with me. They do not visit my home. They do not even eat with me,” he sighs.
Despite the suffering, Kaleb is resolute. “Nothing will separate me from the love of Christ,” he declares.
For Kaleb, persecution has more than just physical and emotional consequences. Asked about the importance of a ministry like Help The Persecuted, Kaleb recalls how intense persecution without support “has forced some [Christians] to revert to Islam.” God is using Help The Persecuted to help believers stand strong—knowing they are loved and supported by a global community of believers. With prayer and support from Help The Persecuted, Kaleb has resisted this temptation and encourages us in our outreach, “Thank you. Your support and help strengthen us in following Jesus. His provision comes in many ways—and I thank Him for providing you for us.”
For those of us who have never experienced the pain of persecution, Kaleb’s story gives a name and a face to the struggle.
It is hard to stand alone. Leading The Way receives letters, emails, and phone calls for help from many who are afraid to accept Jesus for fear of being cast out of their families; some who listen to or watch Leading The Way’s broadcasts in secret; and some who have been beaten for their faith.
Some of us may never have to go through what Kaleb and others have gone through, but we do have a responsibility to help them stand strong in the faith in the face of opposition. Leading The Way is committed to responding through Help The Persecuted with support, comfort, and protection.
Thank you for your prayers for and support of Leading The Way that make this work possible. Would you please pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters throughout the world?
To learn more about how you can Help The Persecuted, visit our Help The Persecuted page.