Diva* (19) from Indonesia discovered Jesus when a Christian friend encouraged her to read deeper in the Quran.
"In Islam, people are forbidden from talking about Isa (Jesus), despite Him being mentioned all over the Quran," she says. "Only curious, open minds will connect the dots and find Him."
She began visiting her spiritual mentor daily - so much so, that her parents became suspicious. When they questioned if she had become a Christian, she responded, "I don't see anything wrong with learning about other religions. You told me to study well. This is exactly what I'm doing now."
Today, two years on from making a commitment to follow Isa, she still has to hide her faith from her parents. "But every time I have the chance, I point my parents to Jesus in the Quran, even if it leads me and my dad to heated arguments," she says. "Carrying our cross is not comfortable."
In her bright pink hijab and matching outfit, she looks every inch the young college student. But her passion and maturity are remarkable. Diva attends a weekly discipleship session facilitated by Open Doors. Over 800 new believers are reached through the classes annually. Attending is risky. Once, she was followed by her father. "She came anyway - she managed to cover her trail," said an Open Doors staff member. "It shows she is willing to pay the price for Jesus."
Diva is grateful for a community of believers where she attends discipleship classes and finds support from like-spirited brothers and sisters. There, new believers strengthen one another. "It builds my character and faith. I also learn new methods of preaching the gospel. I can pray freely and find myself loving Isa more every day," she says.
The discipleship class uses books provided by Open Doors.
"The books help my faith grow," she says. "And I'm more aware of Who created me, and the purpose I have in life."
Indonesia is number 30 on the Open Doors World Watch List. Although Indonesia's constitution promotes religious freedom, believers from Muslim backgrounds often face persecution from their families and communities and are put under pressure to renounce their faith.
Open Doors facilitates weekly discipleship sessions for believers from a Muslim background. The groups provide new believers with a supportive community from similar backgrounds. During these three-hour sessions, 15 to 20 believers pray for each other, share their struggles and their successes, review their walk with God during the week, learn God’s word, and discuss how to share the good news with others.
*Name changed for security reasons
- For Diva and other young Christians, that they will find strength in God everyday
- For God to raise up more Christian leaders in Indonesia.
HOW CAN I HELP CHRISTIANS IN INDONESIA?
You can give to provide vital support
Open Doors supports persecuted believers in Indonesia by providing training, Bibles and Christian literature, socio-economic development projects, relief aid and advocacy support. Every £50 could help provide trauma care for a believer in Indonesia.