Please pray fervently with us for Maria*, a teenage girl in an undisclosed Muslim-majority country in Asia. We cannot reveal Maria’s photo, real name, age and country for the safety of her and her family. But we can mobilize urgent prayer for this young girl, her family, community and our partners on the ground who are working to free Maria.
Maria was kidnapped at gunpoint two weeks ago. Neighbors showed up at the family’s house, saying they had seen three armed men drag their daughter away.
“They pointed their guns at her,” the neighbors told the family.
Maria’s family shared with our Open Doors ministry partner: “We rushed to the police station to ask for help. Because we were Christians, the policemen were reluctant to even take a first incident report.”
It took the local news media jumping on the case and protesters showing up in front of the police station to finally compel police to open an investigation that led to the truth: Maria had been kidnapped and abused by some of her co-workers from the factory where she worked. One man was arrested.
Threatened and forced to convert
Three days later, Maria herself appeared in court.
“The girl must have been put under tremendous pressure,” our partner says. “She said she went with her abductor by her own consent. Moreover, she spoke before a court in favor of her abductor who was arrested by the police during their investigations and pleaded with the judge for his release. In front of her family, she declared her willingness to go with her abductor, a Muslim man, already married and a father of two.”
After hearing all the arguments, the court dismissed the petition filed by Maria’s family. Maria left the court with the people who took her at gunpoint just three days earlier.
Her cousin and confidant told our partner: “‘I know my cousin well. She would never have gone willingly. She is a gentle girl but not stupid. She must have been threatened with the safety of her parents and family members and other Christian girls at the factory.”
And her fate? “We don’t know,” the Open Doors partner says. “We are trying to find out where she’s being held and under what circumstances.”
Sometimes stories come through our field that are difficult to tell because we must keep so many details concealed to protect believers. But we believe in prayer and our mission to stand with those who are persecuted in Jesus’ name. And we know that God knows every detail. As we pray for the situation, He hears our requests even when we can’t pray with specific information.