When eighteen year old Hayat Hussein called out to Jesus in her sleep, her strict Muslim father responded by tying her up in ropes and threatening to kill her. Hayat has now been on the run since last November.
Trained as a devout Muslim in the Koranic School, Hayat's family expected that she would be a model student of Islam. The family takes great pride in their rich local and regional Islamic heritage.
To the discomfort of her teachers, teenage Hayat began to ask questions about "the prophet Isa" (Jesus). They warned her about being overly inquisitive. When news of this inappropriate curiosity reached her father, he decided to send her to Saudi Arabia for more intensive Islamic schooling.
Hayat refused. Determined to know more about Jesus, she believed Christians could help her, and she quietly organized a way to meet them. She secretly revealed her desire to go to church, and was taken soon after. There she received Christ as her Savior!
Upon becoming sick, Hayat unwittingly began to recite Christian prayers in her fevered sleep, and called out the name of Jesus to save her. Shocked, her father searched her cell phone for further evidence, and found some Christian songs and an audio Bible. He restrained and threatened her, and hurried along his plan to send her to Saudi Arabia.
Refusing to give up hope, Hayat waited for the opportune moment to escape from the house, and sought help from Christians who welcomed her. Hayat's father is relentlessly searching for her, using her friends to try and uncover her hiding place. The danger is far from over. *Names, photographs and other information have been changed for security purposes
Rank: 17 Previous Rank: 15 Leader: Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn Government: Federal Republic Religion: Christianity (mainly Orthodox) Population: 90.2 million (52.2 million Christians) Source of persecution: Islamic extremism/Denominational elitism