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Mariam

A Christian woman was recently expelled from her home by an angered husband with militant Muslim views because she refused to renounce the Christian faith. Mariam, who happens to be pregnant with his child and due to give birth soon, is currently being cared for by church members. When the expectant mother became a Christian in 2012, her Muslim family provoked an attack and she was forced to live on the streets.

Cote d'Ivoire, which translated means Ivory Coast, has seen increasing violence since the November 2010 election when the losing incumbent refused to step down. The crisis left 3,000 dead, with attacks carried out along political, ethnic and religious lines. Fifteen Christian pastors were killed, and numerous churches have been burned down by Muslim militants during this conflict. An earlier internal conflict, during the years of 2002 to 2007, has resulted in growing religious demarcation: Muslims in the north and Christians in the south.

Islam grew rapidly in the country during the 20th century, from five percent in 1900 to nearly 42 percent today. Now many Muslims are expecting increased representation in government, resulting in growing tensions between Christians and Muslims. By law, Ivorians have freedom of religion, but VOM contacts report that authorities in some regions are seizing church properties and restricting the number of members in churches. In addition, pastors have been arrested and imprisoned.

Pray for this dear sister in Christ, asking our compassionate God to surround her with His abiding love and grace. Request that He also grant her needed strength as she anticipates the birth of this precious baby. May Mariam's resolute faith greatly impact her opposing husband and family members so that they, too, will come to know Christ as Saviour and Lord. Please also remember in prayer the country of Cote d'Ivoire, asking God to use the Christians living there to serve as bright beacons of His light, while also extending peace and reconciliation.

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