The intervention by a Christian ministry that focuses on persecuted Christians worldwide has saved a teenage girl in Pakistan from what probably would have been a forced conversion to Islam and mandatory marriage to a Muslim master, according to reports on the recent situation.
Azra Bibi, a Pakistani teen persecuted for her Christian faith
The Voice of the Martyrs confirmed in a new report that the teen, Azra Bibi, soon will be established in her own home through the assistance of a Christian pastor in the region, and the donations of Christians in the United States.
Such situations, VOM confirms, happen all too frequently. As Christians in a Muslim nation, the family was subjected to the ongoing persecution of the community. In the case of Azra, she and her mother were working in a brick kiln, under almost slave-like conditions, in order to earn enough for the family to eat.
She’d been working at the kilns since she was seven, and frequently endured the jeers and criticisms of Muslims working at the same plant, officials said.
Then one day, the verbal attacks that began with the work day increased, and several Muslim women turned violent, beating Azra’s mother, officials said.
“They were both taken to the brick kiln owner, where Azra’s mom was murdered in the most horrific way,” the report said, leaving the teen not only reeling from the loss of her mother, but now facing the responsibilities for her debts.
“The brick kiln owner had plans to force Azra to convert to Islam with the intention of marrying her off. But God had other plans,” the VOM report said. “With the help of a courageous local pastor and support from Christians in the U.S., Azra was miraculously rescued with her debts paid.”
VOM said plans now are under way to provide training and a place to live “for this courageous young Christian girl who stood firm in her faith through such difficult trials.”
“You can learn about and help persecuted Christians like Azra,” the organization said. “We cannot let them suffer in silence.”
VOM is a non-profit, interdenominational ministry working worldwide to help Christians who are persecuted for their faith, and to educate the world about that persecution. Its headquarters are in Bartlesville, Okla., and it has 30 affiliated international offices.
It was launched by the late Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, who started smuggling Russian Gospels into Russia in 1947, just months before Richard was abducted and imprisoned in Romania where he was tortured for his refusal to recant Christianity.
He eventually was released in 1964 and the next year he testified about the persecution of Christians before the U.S. Senate’s Internal Security Subcommittee, stripping to the waist to show the deep torture wound scars on his body.
The group that later was renamed The Voice of the Martyrs was organized in 1967, when his book, “Tortured for Christ,” was released.