In the Middle East, suicide among women is on the rise due to a unique set of challenges that women in the west may not be aware of.

Women in the Middle East commit suicide three times more than men. One study reports an increase of 66% in the last five years and another states a 100% increase since 1990, although this number is assumed to be higher since most suicides are kept secret by families.[1]

Governments, society and family reinforce laws that discriminate against and oppress women. Many national leaders view women as slaves with few rights. While women are allowed one husband, men can have several wives. Men can divorce by telling their wife “I divorce you” three times. Many times when a woman is raped, she is blamed and executed.

The Afghanistan Independent Human Right’s Commission interviewed women who had tried to commit suicide. Almost every time, the reason they gave was forced marriage. Men are generally able to reject their family’s choice of a bride or sometimes can even choose their own. In Muslim culture and law, women are forced into marriage. As many as 80% of marriages in Afghanistan take place without the consent of the bride, who is often a child.[2] In Iran, the legal age to marry is 13, although some fathers give permission earlier. It is known that Muhammad, the founder of Islam, married Aisha when she was 9 years old.

Early forced marriage has detrimental consequences for girls such as the inability to obtain an education or acquire skills to work independently.[3] Because their young bodies are not yet developed for childbirth they may also suffer physical harm, resulting in mental, emotional, and physical trauma for the girl and her baby.

Any person living under these oppressive circumstances would have a tendency toward depression, discouragement or just giving up. But God loves all Muslims. Many Christians do not pray for them because of their own fear, prejudice, or just don’t think about it. Now that you understand a little more about the oppressive lives women face in the Middle East, consider adding all Muslims, but especially the women, to your regular prayer list.


  1. Begin by asking God to give you a heart filled with compassion and love toward Muslims.

  2. Muslims believe that Allah is creative, eternal, all powerful and supreme, but also that it is impossible to ever really know or have a personal relationship with him because Allah holds himself apart from mankind. Pray that Muslims will have a revelation of the true God and His love for them.

  3. Muslims are strongly influenced by an awareness of good and evil in the supernatural realm. Evil spirits are known as jinn. Superstitions can result in constant fear and controls many aspects of their lives. Pray for the power of God’s love to dispel all fear.

  4. Islam means submission. Muslims understand that they are the servant of Allah, which is an incomplete aspect of our relationship with God. Pray that Muslims will understand that God desires them to move from slaves to His sons and daughters.

  5. Muslims believe in order to make it to paradise their good deeds must outweigh their bad deeds. Even then, there is no guarantee. Muhammad, their prophet, was not even guaranteed to make it to paradise. Because of this, it is difficult for Muslims to understand repentance and forgiveness of sins. Pray that they would know conviction of sin and true repentance and have the assurance of salvation through Jesussomething Islam cannot offer.

  6. Reports are increasing that many Muslims have come to Christ as a result of supernatural encounters. Pray that God would soften their hearts and open their eyes through dreams and visions.

[1] Afghan Women Escape Marriage Through Suicide, (Jan. 1, 2020).

[2] Ibid.

[3] Child Marriage in Afghanistan, (Jan. 1, 2020).

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We believe the Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are inspired by God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct. (2 Timothy 3:15-17, 1 Peter 1:21)

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We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father where He intercedes for us, in His present rule as Head of the Church, and in His personal return in power and glory. (Matthew 1:23, Luke 1:31)

We believe in the creation of mankind in God’s image, and the fall of man, resulting in universal guilt and total depravity; and the necessity, therefore, of redemption and restoration; that all men and women are lost spiritually and face the judgment of God, that Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation, and that repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ is necessary for regeneration by the Holy Spirit. (Genesis 1:26-27, Genesis 2:17)

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We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; the saved unto the resurrection of eternal life in the presence of our Lord, and the lost unto the resurrection of damnation and eternal punishment. (Matthew 25:46, Mark 9:43-48)

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The ordinance of baptism by immersion is commanded by the Scriptures. All who repent and believe in Christ as Savior and Lord are to be baptized. Thus, they declare to the world that they have died with Christ and that they also have been raised with Him to walk in newness of life. (Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:16, Acts 10:47,48, Romans 6:4)

The Lord’s Supper, consisting of the elements—bread and the fruit of the vine—, is the symbol expressing our sharing the divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:4), a memorial of His suffering and death (1 Corinthians 11:26), and a prophecy of His second coming (1 Corinthians 11:26), and is enjoined on all believers “till He comes!”