16-Y-O Girl Seeks to Disown Mother for Coming to Christ, but Then Decides to Follow Jesus Herself

(Photo: Reuters/Stringer)Christians attend Sunday service in the Virgin Mary Church at Samalout Diocese in Al-Our village, in Minya governorate, south of Cairo, May 3, 2015.

A 16-year-old girl in the Middle East who became furious that her mother left the family's Islamic faith to be become a Christian, and sought to disown her, later decided to follow Jesus herself after watching a local ministry's videos.

Christian Aid Mission, which aids indigenous ministries working in dangerous places around the world, said on Thursday that the girl, identified only as Ayah, was angry when she found out that her mother, Noura, wanted to follow Jesus.

Ayah's fear was that the Middle East country that she lived in, which was not identified for security reasons, is hostile to the Christian faith, and would make their family exiles in their own community.

The schoolgirl sought to disown her own mother, and in order to "gather ammo" for an intervention that she was planning, she began watching the videos online of a pastor talking about Jesus Christ that originally led Noura to convert.

"She attempted to study our wrong thinking so she could convince her mother to return to her Islamic heritage," said an indigenous missionary who produces the videos.

"She began listening to our video clips, just as her mother did, and she also decided to believe in Jesus. She came to us wanting to be baptized and brought her mother along with her."

What happened over the course of the following year was a reversal — Ayah was baptized and became a Christian, while her mother gradually began moving away from the Christian faith.

Ayah prayed for her mother, however, and talked with her about the Gospel.

"This brought her back to believing in Jesus," the indigenous pastor revealed.

"Yes, this girl, who had initially intended to bring her mother away from faith in Jesus, rescued her mom and brought her back to us, asking to be baptized. For sure, God is greater than what our minds expect."

Christians across the Middle East face severe violence from communities and oppression by government authorities for their faith. Former Muslims who have decided to leave their faith and become Christians are often charged with apostasy and most severely targeted.

Pastors who risk their safety to share the Gospel with others have often faced the harshest punishments by the government, such as the case of Iranian Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, who along with three other Christians saw his 10-year prison sentence upheld last week for promoting the Christian faith.

Nadarkhani has earlier been sentenced to death, though that punishment was overturned.

A famous case in Turkey gaining international attention is the fate of American Pastor Andrew Brunson, who faces as much as 35 years in prison if convicted on terrorism charges.

Brunson, who preached the Gospel at a small church in Izmir for two decades before his arrest in 2016, has pleaded his innocence, declaring he is being persecuted for his faith.

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