Persecution comes in many forms but it can be particularly harsh when your persecutors are your closest family.
Salma knows how tough life can be when you follow Jesus in Morocco.
Family life had always been difficult. Her father was very tough and her parent’s relationship suffered as a result. This inevitably affected the whole family and left Salma feeling so sad and alone. She says “I cried a lot.”
By age 13 Salma was so full of sadness, anger and frustration that she cried out against God, blaming Him for the situation. What Salma didn’t realise then was that God had his hand on her life and would use her desperation to bring her to know Him.
Looking for answers, Salma was drawn to visit a church, where a kind minister listened attentively to her story.
That night, as Salma slept, she had a remarkable encounter with God. She said,
I dreamt that God was holding my hand and leading me to the church. At that moment I knew that God is in the church!”
Although she knew that her family would disapprove, Salma began attending church whenever she could, even skipping school to go. It was on one such occasion when aged 15 – six years ago – that her father saw her leaving the church and became furious.
Since then, her parents have stopped her from leaving the house.
“My parents hate me,” she told SAT-7’s viewer support team, “They don’t even eat with me. They force me to stay at home. I don’t go anywhere, not even to school. They call me ‘faithless’ but I don’t care about that.”
In her message to SAT-7, Salma said, “I don’t have any friends, so I want to communicate with you. I want you as a friend because you know that Christians are so few in Morocco. I love God and worship him. I trust in God. He is my shield. I am trying to make God’s love visible to my family although they treat me harshly.
SAT-7 has made a difference in my life. I have learnt everything I know about the Christian faith from watching SAT-7.”
Remarkably, even though Salma’s family is so opposed to her Christian faith, she’s able to use SAT-7 to share the Gospel with them! She said, “When my family saw a programme on SAT-7 they began to ask me questions and I tried to present the word of God to them.
“I encourage my younger sister to watch SAT-7 with me. I try to introduce Jesus’ message to her.”
Despite the daily persecution she experiences and her isolation as a believer, Salma’s faith is incredibly mature and steadfast.
She ended her message to SAT-7 by saying, “It’s no problem. I thank God for the grace of Christ.”