08/19/2020 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – Since he was nine years old, Amar has lived with significant disabilities. He was left mostly incapacitated with little ability to experience the activities most Iraqi children enjoyed. Now that he is an adult, Amar still faces many of the same obstacles. After his father died years ago, he is now cared for by his mother and financially supported by his brother, since he cannot work for himself. Intense tribalism and Islam surround the southern region of Iraq, where Amar lives.
Amar cannot read or write and has little to keep himself busy because of his disability. This extra time meant that he was able to stumble upon Christian TV stations accidentally. Listening to Christian TV was entirely new for him, and it led him to convert to Christianity.
“I like fishing, and before 2003 I used to spend a long time at the lake in [my village] where I met someone who later become a friend. A faithful Christian who I respected very much. He left after 2003, and I wish I can reconnect with him to tell him I became a Christian, he didn’t tell me a lot about Christianity, but he was faithful,” explained Amar. After 2003, when the internet and satellite TV became available, Amar started watching Christian TV networks, and those channels led him to Christianity. Around this time, the war became more severe, and Christians first began their exodus of Iraq.
Since then, Amar has only grown stronger in his faith but is living it in secret. As a Muslim-background believer (MBB) living in a heavily tribalized and Islamic area, Amar fears practicing his faith openly.
Because of his disability, Amar would not be able to escape quickly from his family’s tribe should his Christianity became known. To ease this fear, his spiritual mentor requested that ICC provide him with a new wheelchair, giving him a better quality of life and preventing persecution. Should Amar be discovered, a new wheelchair would mean that he can at least attempt an escape from his family.
Thanks to his spiritual mentor, Amar met with ICC’s field team and picked out a new wheelchair. During his trip, Amar also got to visit a church for the first time, as his village has no churches or a public Christian presence. He was grateful to spend time with other Christians and receive a more reliable wheelchair.
“I am happy with this gift. I was wearing a cross, and one day some militia members came and took it off my neck and threatened me by murdering if I did it again. I don’t know reading and writing, but I am in direct touch with [a pastor], and he is teaching me how to be a disciple for Christ,” Amar said.
This new wheelchair gives a sense of safety and security to Amar. If he experiences another incident like that with the militia, he now has more ability to reach safety. The wheelchair should also assist in his work at the small shoe stall that he runs.
“Please pray for me to keep my simple job selling shoes and pray for having a prayer group of MBBs in [my village],” requested Amar.
Pray that the new wheelchair will help Amar better in his endeavors with his shoe stall and keep him safe from persecution. As an MBB and a disabled person, Amar may face double stigmas in society, especially amidst his village’s tribalism and Islamism. He also requests prayer for a community group of other MBBs to connect with and that his family would someday come to Christ.