Iman, a Christian refugee from Iraq, had a crisis of faith when she was driven away from her home by militants. But with the help of a church in Lebanon, her trust in Jesus was restored. Iman shared her dramatic story with SAT-7 documentary series From East to West, offering hope and encouragement to other struggling Christians.
Born and raised in a Christian family in Iraq, wife and mother Iman was a believer until an unexpected trauma shook her faith.
“It was a quiet afternoon,” she recalled. “My husband, our children and I had lunch and then went for a nap. I started hearing children crying and people screaming. I looked out of the window and saw a horrifying scene. Extremist groups had invaded our village.”
As the terrifying sight unfolded before their eyes, Iman and her husband quickly realised they had no other choice but to flee, lest they be captured and tortured. The family headed towards Erbil in the northern Kurdish region, where conditions became increasingly difficult, so they decided to flee Iraq. Iman and her family became refugees in Lebanon.
A crisis of faith
Traumatised by the experience, Iman felt she had lost her faith. With tears in her eyes, she recalls thinking, “My spiritual foundation is gone! There is no higher power, Jesus or Heavenly Father! What did we do to deserve this? The world is a monstrous place and God doesn’t exist.”
But God held on to Iman, and through the love and support of a local church in Lebanon, drew her back to Himself. The congregation provided Iman and her family with supplies and spiritual counselling. She began to attend the church regularly and witnessed the power of faith within the Lebanese Christian community.
I realised that we are all bearing the cross in different ways, just like Jesus did. It’s a humble reminder of the sacrifice He made for our salvation.”
Iman’s story will feature in the third series of From East to West, a documentary programme exploring the history of Christianity in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). It is aiming to raise awareness of the struggles faced by the region’s Christians but also highlight the Church’s service and witness amid difficulties. The third series particularly emphasizes the impact of the Lebanese Christian community in the way it has welcomed and helped refugees and persecuted believers like Iman.