Is it equal for all of us?


In the first week of June, five of us from All Nations attended a three day conference on the subject of how to accompany Christian women around the world who are under pressure for their faith. There were over 60 people, mainly women (obviously!) from 19 nations and many agencies.

The first day we explored some of the issues that our sisters face, hearing of the situation of women in Pakistan, Egypt and Sub-Saharan Africa.

The second day we engaged with some of the challenges that Christian women face across the world, such as freedom of religion and belief; rape and seduction; poverty and restrictive legal status.

The final day we endeavoured to consider some healthy responses, such as building resilience in the church and searching for a new mind-set and identity in regard to persecution.


What was clear from these days was that Christian women are, at least, doubly vulnerable, first for their gender and second because of their faith, and sometimes they are triply vulnerable because of their poverty.

It also became clear that the church is sometimes part of the problem rather than the solution. There are Pastors and elders who do not believe that domestic violence and persecution go on and sometimes, even more tragically, they are the very perpetrators of that violence.

Thirdly, it was clear that action on various levels is vital. Individual, ecclesial, community and agency action combined is the most effective.


The quality of the speakers and the depth of the analysis really struck us. Each one of the speakers (all but two were women) had not only done detailed research, but had synthesised the information, and presented it in an interesting and accessible way.


There was a great depth of reflection had on the “conversation tables”. Paul Davies, who went as a participant observer said, “I was standing in awe of, and with some trepidation at, the clear thinking of these consultants, activists, lawyers and educators. They were impressive but at the same time very human. They even listened with respect to what I said!”


Great bravery is shown by our Christian sisters to stand up under, and stand up to, the persecution they are facing. We know that the Lord gives special grace to those under persecution but it sometimes defies belief how strong those women are.


We, as a church need to pray for our sisters that God will continue to give them strength and courage to witness to their faith in the face of increasing persecution and violence.

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