Saudi Convert Fearful that Discovery of Her Faith Will Lead to Abuse—or Worse

ICC Note:  Nawal lives in Saudi Arabia, and like most of her peers, was raised as a Muslim. The country’s treatment of women, however, led her to search for more meaning in life. It was through this search that she encountered the Gospel, and would later convert to Christianity. Discovery of her conversion can lead to her death, and so outwardly she is forced to continue living as a Muslim. Such is the case for many of Saudi Arabia’s Christians. While expats in the country are able to discreetly gather to worship, it is so dangerous to be a Saudi Christian that they rarely are able to gather together or even meet.

02/09/2018 Saudi Arabia (CP World) –  A Saudi convert from Islam is living her life in fear that her husband will one day find out that she has accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior.

The Christian persecution watchdog group Open Doors USA has shared the story of Nawal, a Saudi woman in her late 20s who is living two separate lives.

Her first life is one of a Muslim housewife and mother and the other life she lives is as a closeted follower of Christ in the Sunni-majority kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where her faith could get her legally killed by her loved ones.

According to Open Doors, Nawal is like many other women who convert to Christianity in Muslim-dominated nations.

She is struggling with the fact that she wants to live out her life as Christ wants her to but has to keep her faith under wraps so that her husband won’t find out about her hidden identity in Christ.

Living under Sharia rule, Nawal’s husband is likely to beat or even kill her as an honor retaliation if he finds out about her love for Jesus.

“Each day, she faces the terror of fear, silence and isolation,” according to Open Doors.

One of the few ways that Nawal is able to communicate with fellow believers is through WhatsApp on her mobile phone. Although she frequently receives messages from other Christians on the app, she rarely responds to them out of fear that her husband or anyone else might find the conversation and see that she has converted.

On the rare occasion when Nawal responds to her Christian friends, it’s only through short, vague messages that don’t allow outside readers to know that she has converted or that she actively considers herself Christian.

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For interviews with Claire Evans, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org