Rania’s Secret Joy: An Egyptian Woman Found Jesus and Learned His Worth

For Rania, accepting Christianity was a huge worldview change and a security threat. “We raise our children as Christians within the walls of our home, but outside them, like us, they have to live like Muslims,” says Rania.

Although Christianity has a long history in Egypt and still has a strong presence there, following Jesus can be incredibly dangerous. Becoming a Christian from a Muslim is especially dangerous. In rural Egypt, this can lead to severe persecution, discrimination and violence.

Rania* is an Egyptian Christian living in the countryside. First, her husband converted to Christianity, and then the rest of the family. The path of these Christians has been difficult, but according to Rania, everything has been worth the effort.

This is how Rania herself tells her story.

“I felt that I was not valuable”

My name is Rania and I am 33 years old. Now I am a Christian, but I was born a Muslim. If I showed you my face, I might have to pay with my life for that. Religious fanatics and even my own relatives would kill me if they saw my picture on the internet and read that I had abandoned Islam.

However, I want to tell other Christians about what it’s like to secretly be the mother of a Christian family. So I asked a friend to write my story.

I come from a small village near Cairo. The villagers represent extreme Islam and my family was no exception. I always covered myself with a veil when I went out of the house, and I was always afraid that my hidden body would be seen as seductive and that I would bring shame to my family.

From an early age, I was told that my purpose in life was to get married, have children, and keep my husband happy. I felt I had little value.

The answer to prayer opened eyes

My husband Sameh* was the first to believe in Christ and I didn’t like it at all. I have always been taught that Christians are dirty and converting to Christianity is a sin.

But one day our eldest son became so ill that we feared we would lose him. My husband prayed for our boy and at first I didn’t pay much attention.

But when my husband prayed, what happened was that my son suddenly stopped shaking and his body temperature returned to normal.

My son opened his eyes and said, “I saw Christ on the cross. He looked at me, called me by name and said: “Child, get up.”

When my son told me this, all I could do was drop to my knees next to my husband. I cried and thanked the God I had never known. At that moment I gave my life to Jesus.

You might think that my story ends here with the words “And they lived happily ever after”. However, I must tell you that this was by no means the end of my story, but rather the beginning of it.

In the Muslim world, many Muslims have left Islam after meeting Jesus in a dream or vision. In Rania’s case, it was the healing of her son through the power of prayer.

The secret journey begins

We lived in a strictly Islamic village. Nothing changed externally. I couldn’t suddenly stop wearing my veil. Muslims think that if one family member converts to Christianity, it is a shame for the whole family. Therefore, radical Muslims forbid conversion to Christianity.

We knew that if we wanted to survive, we had to secretly become Christians.

If the family is secretly Christian, then the family is also the primary church of the family members. Sameh and I study the Bible together, tell our children about Jesus, and pray together. It’s a journey. My husband and I were never very close, but now we have begun to learn what it means to support each other in a marriage.

If you grew up in a Christian family, I don’t think you realize how different your worldview is compared to Islam. The harmful things I was taught since I was a little girl are deep in my soul: I have no value and must hide myself. Letting go of such thoughts takes time.

I was invited to the women’s seminars organized by the local partner of “Open Doors”. They helped me with this. My sisters helped me overcome the traumas of my pas, and God himself told me that I was valuable. In fact, I am His beloved daughter!

At least five Christians were killed and over 20 attacked in Egypt last year. In addition, a significant number of Christians of Muslim background were arrested and abused by state security services.

The hardest part is facing your children’s pain

The hardest part of my journey has been seeing my children suffer. They have had to give up their family, friends and even school and get used to a life with less money. We raise our children as Christians within the walls of our homes, but outside of them they must, like us, live as Muslims.

It broke my heart when my oldest son once asked me: “Why did God save me from death? I would rather die than live this life.”

He became depressed and didn’t want to go to school anymore. He was too afraid of making a mistake and revealing that he was a Christian. Since both Sameh and I were also recent converts, it was difficult for us to deal with these questions.

We talked about our situation as spiritual workers, but what helped the most was when my son was invited to a Christian children’s camp. There he met people in the same situation and made many friends. He doesn’t feel so lonely anymore and is happy again. Even now, he tells stories from the Bible to his little brother.

Child bullying is often isolating, harsh and identity-shaping. However, children can be supported and helped to start again with, for example, trauma therapy.

Inspirational leadership training

Recently, a new chapter in our lives began. A group of disciples, the home church, now meets in our home. I am an intelligent woman; I just never had a chance to develop myself. “Open Doors” partner is doing management training for us and I’m very excited for it to start.

If you are reading this, will you please pray for us? When everything in our life changed, it was not easy. But God supported us all the time and that’s how we have been able to move forward in life. As a family, we decided not to give up. God is good.”

With the help of local partners, Open Doors supports Christians of Muslim background throughout the Muslim world. Open Doors offers both spiritual instruction and practical help to these Christians. Your support will enable us to support Christians like Rania and Sameh’s family in the future.

*Names changed for security reasons.

Source: Ranian salainen ilo: Egyptiläinen nainen löysi Jeesuksen ja oppi olevansa arvokas | Open Doors Finland

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