The Antidote of Persecution
Education unlocks the prison door for persecuted Christian children.
By Mike Anderson
09/15/2022 Washington, D.C (International Christian Concern) – A third grader attended church with his family one morning and left an orphan, alone in a land hostile to Christianity. This is Smith Sabir’s story, one of the hundreds of stories from the churchgoers at All Saints Church in Pakistan. His parents were among those killed in the All Saints Church terrorist attack in Pakistan on Sept. 22, 2013.
Sabir’s chance for survival and long-term success was bleak. No one was there to encourage him, disciple him, and support his dreams.
Fortunately, donors stepped forward and International Christian Concern (ICC) supported Sabir and chronicled his inspirational story over the past decade.
In an interview, Sabir shared his gratitude, “Often, I keep thinking about God’s strange plans. He took my parents to heaven, but He gave me ICC to take care of me, stand with me, to strengthen me, and to build my future. I have learned a lot from ICC on how to love others and engaged in charity work. I would love to follow in ICC’s footsteps.”
For Sabir and children like him, persecution can remain a lifelong struggle without such intervention.
Governments in places like India put systems in place to keep Christian families ostracized and removed from economic opportunities and adequate schools. Christians who publicly profess their faith in Jesus are prevented from participating in government services reserved for even the lowest class in society—the untouchables, or Dalits.
In Egypt, schools are so bad that many Christian families pull their kids out at an early age. They do menial work, such as picking up garbage, because that is a better alternative than public schools.
In Nigeria, more than one million Christians are displaced because of violence in Benue State and living as in-country refugees. For the many children removed from schools, hope fades in the rubble.
While ICC provides immediate assistance to families, including food, shelter, medical expenses, and small business support, education remains the best long-term antidote for oppression.
Hope For a Better Future
Nelson Mandela famously said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
ICC has launched two successful education programs: Hope House and Generation Transformation. For security concerns, ICC does not divulge its specific locations.
Hope House equips Christian children in the Middle East to break out of this generational cycle of persecution. Through one-to-one sponsorships, kids receive better schooling, medical care, nutrition, and other benefits. ICC is also in the beginning stages of expanding Hope House to other regions, like Africa.
As students advance into their teens and college years, they transition to Generation Transformation where they receive vocational training, college scholarships, and grants to start small businesses.
“The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts,” C.S. Lewis said. ICC’s mission is to bring the wellspring of education to the persecuted.
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