Maryam said there are now over 1 million Christians in her country who are "Muslim background believers." She said she knows of one priest who single-handedly has converted over 6,000 Muslims in the last five years.
"We are not afraid or worried that the persecution will increase. We are just feeling that this is God's time," Maryam said. "God is working perfectly now in the Middle East. Even with all these crazy stuff happening, God is really working now."
"So, I want to encourage you that, of course, you need to pray for your brothers and sisters in the Middle East who are suffering for being Christians and for their faith, but I am asking you to pray a different prayer," Maryam encouraged the Alabama churchgoers. "Don't pray for the persecution to be stopped. … But pray for the Christians there, for their boldness, their encouragement, for their faith and that they can all be witnesses for God's work and for God."
MeadowBrook Senior Pastor Randy Gunter, who visited the region and met Maryam in April, told The Christian Post on Tuesday that he also met with a well-respected Christian leader named "Paul" during his trip.
Paul told Gunter that the experiences Christians have faced since 2011 have been "amazing."
"Do not pray for the persecution to stop; that is to pray in the wrong direction of the Bible," Gunter recalled Paul telling him. "What God has allowed us to go through in the last five years is amazing. He has allowed a great shaking."
"We could see the shining face of Jesus in the midst of all the chaos," Paul added. "Christians had hope, whereas the Muslims around us did not."
Gunter argued that many Christians in the West have the "wrong concepts about the persecuted Church."
"Many view [persecution] as a destroying the Church, but historically and presently, God uses persecution to bring about the pure essence of hope and salvation within the Church," Gunter wrote in an email to CP. "Many Muslims and others are coming to faith because they are witnessing the love, forgiveness and compassion of the Lord's Church. Like all people, they long for hope. "
Maryam will be speaking at eight different churches and venues in the U.S. over the next two weeks.
"Some people [in the U.S.] shared with me that 'We are shy to speak to people about the Gospel or about Jesus because they might laugh at us,'" Maryam explained. "I was like, 'Your brothers and sisters in [the Middle East], they want to evangelize but the law prevented that. But here it is allowed to speak about Jesus and sing songs. For us, it is not allowed. If we did something like that, we would be in jail.'"
"You have to be very awake because there is no time to waste," Maryam stressed. "The persecution has penetrated the U.S. and penetrated Europe now."