Shediya*, a devout Muslim, was deeply concerned when her niece expressed doubt in the Islamic faith. She quickly requested her husband’s permission to study the Islamic scriptures with her niece to help guide her back to a solid faith in Islam. As her research progressed, however, Shediya realized that her studies were having the opposite effect. Islam was not what she had always thought it was. Everything she previously believed was unraveling.
Shediya’s search for truth led her online. She realized she wasn’t the only Muslim who questioned her faith, and found that many Muslims around the world had converted to Christianity. She eventually came across “Arabic Church Online”, a fully interactive and engaging global church community led by Digital Strategies for believers and Muslim-background believers in the Middle East and North Africa. The mentors on this online church platform answered Shediya’s many questions, shared their testimonies, and explained the gospel to her.
It was soon clear to Shediya that she had to make a choice. Believing the gospel required a huge step of faith, but Shediya was finally ready to become a Christian.
She was so full of joy and hope that she enthusiastically shared her new faith with her husband and father-in-law, a very wealthy and devout Muslim businessman. Shediya thought they would be able to share in her joy, but that was not the case. Her husband was furious with her and continually tried to change her mind. Her father-in-law was deeply offended with her claims about Islam and her confession of Christ. As a traditional Arabic patriarch, he ruled his marriage and his family with absolute authority. He quickly forbade his family from eating with her and they all stopped talking to her.
Eventually, her father-in-law demanded that his son divorce her. After ten years of marriage, their relationship was over and Shediya was removed from the family.
Despite all her losses, Shediya has decided to keep following Jesus, whatever the cost. Her connection with Digital Strategies’ wide network of Arab-speaking believers has helped her stay in community with Christians and grow in her new faith. Through their support, she found an Arabic church nearby and was recently baptized! The online network of mentors continues to encourage her in her precious faith.
*Name changed to protect privacy