We stand with churches and church leaders around the world who are being persecuted because of their faith in Jesus Christ. We do this by providing direct support to persecuted pastors and their families; leadership and theological training; legal aid to support Christians under pressure and facing legal accusations, and projects to equip and resource Christian minority communities.
Our Strength to Stand (S2S) groups in Egypt are a powerful illustration of how we are helping entire communities build resilience. The end goal is that, when persecution comes, Christian communities can stand firm on their faith in Jesus.
The S2S groups, which are an adaptation of the very successful Self Help Group model, are intentionally linked to the local church and members spend a great deal of time in prayer and worship.
We target communities of Christians suffering through poverty and marginalisation, in an environment which restricts them, is socially hostile or is obviously persecuting them. In this context Christian women and girls are particularly vulnerable to abuse and violence.
Small community groups of women initially meet with a facilitator and take turns leading the groups. Firstly, they learn that their identity is in Jesus, and then they learn to pray, worship, read the Bible and learn more about Jesus together. This is then shared widely in their families, often bringing change across the whole community.
Some of the outcomes of our S2S groups in Egypt have included: an increase in the whole family being involved in prayer and Bible study and attending church, a reduction in domestic violence within the home, and the start of small local businesses in the slums of Cairo.