Syrian evangelist faces death threats in Norway after fleeing severe persecution in home country

  • Written by:

Lorraine Caballero
A pastor from Syria fled persecution from his own country and settled in Finnsnes, Norway, thinking he and his wife would be safe there, only to face death threats in his new host country.
Pastor Saeed Ziadah led a small church and evangelized Muslims in Syria despite the danger of being killed or imprisoned for his faith. When war erupted, he and his wife Rana fled to Russia to escape persecution from the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other militant groups that considered them as supporters of the Assad regime, the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) details.
(Reuters/Alister Doyle)A fishing boat enters the harbor at the Arctic port of Svolvaer in northern Norway, March 4, 2013.

However, Pastor Ziadah spent months waiting in vain for Russia to grant him religious asylum, so he left and ended up in Finnsnes, Norway. He and his wife hoped to live peacefully in their new host country but little did Pastor Ziadah know that doing his ministry there would only spark death threats.

Pastor Ziadah began sharing the Gospel on social media and posted comparisons between the teachings of the Bible and the Koran. He also tried to warn Norwegians against the dangers that militant Islam brings. However, he began receiving warnings about jihadists near his immigrant shelter who could easily kill him if he continued sharing his beliefs online.

“That made some Muslims angry, perhaps inside or outside of Norway,” Pastor Ziadah told CBN. “So, they started to send death threats to us through Facebook. They said that they are so close to us.”

Despite the threats, Ziadah did not stop sharing his faith via Facebook, saying the world has to know the real teachings of the Koran. He also asked for help from the local police, and Captain Steingrim Ovesen gave him a GPS tracking device, which he could activate if someone tries to harm him.

Meanwhile, persecuted Christians in Iraq have pledged to stay and help rebuild their home country after ISIS is defeated. A new report titled “Hope for the Middle East” found that most of the believers who are still in the country are willing to stay there even after thousands of their counterparts were forced to flee, Premier reports.

An Iraqi Christian told charity group Open Doors that she wants her countrymen to know that they are not guests in Iraq because their ancestors were the ones who built the country.

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