We’re sharing accounts of Deaf Christians who face persecution this week, in light of the upcoming IDOP Sunday. “IDOP” stands for the International Day of Prayer, and it’s specifically reserved each year for the persecuted Church.
Deaf people, in most cases, go unnoticed by the hearing population. Their deafness is regarded as a handicap – therefore rendering the Deaf unable to function in the “normal” world – or, it’s entirely unseen.
In some cases, observes DOOR International President/CEO Rob Myers in a recent Mission Network News interview, this fact can play to a Deaf Christian’s advantage.
“That’s actually a great thing,” Myers states, “because Deaf people can then ‘fly under the radar screen;’ they can work in a ‘stealth manner’ in a country.”
However, the families of Deaf believers are often the first to uncover their Christianity. This can lead to a new set of problems entirely, as demonstrated in Raj’s testimony below.
Raj Arjun: Locked away for claiming Christ
Raj Arjun was raised by Orthodox Muslim parents in South Asia. At a young age, he encountered the love of Christ.
Raj gave his heart to the Lord, even though it would eventually cost him everything.
As Raj grew older, his parents noticed something different about the way he acted. When they discovered the reason why, they became enraged. Raj’s parents invited everyone in the extended family to their home. Together they berated Raj and locked him in his room in a show of force.
“Why are you doing this to me?” Raj would sign whenever the door was cracked ajar.
“You WILL return to Islam,” family members would tell him. “We know what’s best. We’re arranging a marriage for you to a good Muslim girl.”
Raj tried pleading with his family members, but they wouldn’t listen. Left with no other options, he found a way out of the house, and fled to another district. One of DOOR’s Deaf 2-by-2 workers took Raj in and shared sign language Scripture with him. From that day forward, Raj vowed to serve and love the One who rescued him.
To this day, Raj remains committed to the work of the Lord. He serves with DOOR on one of the Deaf Chronological Bible Translation teams. On IDOP Sunday, here’s how you can pray for Raj and other persecuted Deaf like him:
- Pray that the eyes of Raj’s family members would be opened to the truth of Scripture.
- Pray that, if it’s the Lord’s will, Raj’s relationship with his family might be restored.
- Pray Ephesians 6:13 over Raj and all persecuted Deaf Christians. Pray for strength and perseverance so they can continue in their bold stand.