The Bible gives women an honoured place Bible God’s family, unlike the treatment in that Christian women receive in some contexts of persecution.
Five Sudanese Christian women were convicted and fined last year for wearing “immoral or indecent clothing’. One of them, Fardo, was sentenced to 20 lashes. Although sharia (Islamic law is enforced in Sudan, the Sudanese Criminal Code allows women to dress in a way that is morally acceptable “according to the standard of the person’s religion’. A Christian minister testified that the women were dressed appropriately as Christians, but to no avail.
When Christian men are martyred, often grieving women are left with no means to support their families other than the help provided through, for example, the feeding programmes or small business initiatives which Barnabas supports. Christian women are often persecuted both for the faith and for their gender. Some Muslims consider all Christian women to be “immoral”, and their abuse is condoned. An Islamic cleric has described the rape of any woman who is not a Sunni Muslim in Syria as “legitimate”. In Burma (Myanmar, women from (predominantly Christian) ethnic minorities often suffer sexual abuse by the army.
In countries such as Pakistan and Egypt, a Christian woman or girl may be kidnapped, forced to convert to Islam and then to marry a Muslim often her abductor.
Islamic State (S) militants routinely enslave and abuse Christian women who are captured; in August last year, the UN accepted as authentic a shocking price list” for captured girls and women: a woman over 40 would change hands for about £40, while very young girls (aged between one and nine years old) would fetch about £110.
Pray for protection for Christian women, and especially those who have to go out to work in dangerous contexts, for example as domestic workers in the homes of families from the majority community. Ask that the authorities in Pakistan and Egypt, where forced marriage is common, will do more to prevent it and to protect women believers. Ask that the Holy Spirit will enable persecuted women to be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power (Ephesians 6:10 despite their vulnerability to abuse.