A young deaf girl from a Central Asian country was badly beaten by her Muslim family after they found out that she is now a follower of Jesus Christ.
The girl named Saida ended up in the intensive care unit of a hospital after suffering a severe beating from family members who tried to force her to renounce Christ, according to Open Doors USA.
The Christian persecution watchdog urges Christians to pray for Saida after getting information that the girl's relatives have threatened to beat her again and kill her if need be if she does not return to Islam as soon as she comes back home from hospital.
Members of the local church in the unnamed country are planning to take Saida from the hospital and hide her in a safe place. However, her relatives have reportedly threatened to call the police to prevent anyone from interfering with their access to the girl.
While relatives were beating her, Saida reportedly screamed in pain, prompting concerned neighbours to call the police, according to Rob Myers, president of DOOR International, an organisation that helps reach deaf people around the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
"When the police came, the police saw it was her family beating her and they said, 'Well, this is a family issue, so we won't get involved,'" Myers was quoted as saying by Mission Network News.
"The family then realised they kind of had immunity to continue to beat her, so they continued to do so to the point where she had to be brought to the hospital in intensive care," Myers added.
He noted that deaf people like Saida face unique challenges because of their condition.
"What's different for deaf believers is many times parents are unaware of what's going on in their child's life. They may be meeting with people, they may even be signing with friends about Scripture, and their parents have no idea because most parents of deaf children don't actually sign," Myers said.
Other ministries helping deaf people, like the Deaf Bible Society, are also reaching out to these people in countries where Christians are targeted for persecution by militant groups like the Islamic State (ISIS).
In 2015, ISIS was reported to have been trying to recruit deaf people to its jihadist cause.
J.R. Bucklew, president of Deaf Bible Society, warned that deaf people could be duped into "false empowerment" by ISIS, which has members who can speak to them in sign language, The Christian Post reported.
"So, we have to provide them a resource that they can look at. It's not my words. It's not your words. It's just God's Words, so that they can gauge and say what is true hope. Not only hope for today, but hope for eternity," Bucklew told The Christian Post.