Transforming The 10/40 Window Nations Through The Power of Prayer

Pray4Saudi: The Plight of an Under-Aged Migrant Worker



On January 9, 2013, the world watched in horror as authorities in Saudi Arabia beheaded Rizana Nafeek, a migrant worker held responsible for the death of her employer’s four-month-old baby. Nafeek was not unlike other young women from impoverished circumstances. The daughter of a poor woodcutter in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, she saw the job opportunity in Dawadmi, Saudi Arabia as the ticket to her family’s prosperity.

The only obstacle to her employment was her age. Born in 1988, she was a minor. However, the scouting agent arranged for a passport with a falsified date of birth which listed her as a twenty-three-year-old. And in 2005, dropping out of school, the seventeen-year-old Nafeek went to Saudi Arabia.

On the second week of her employment, the baby under her care died. While she claimed that the baby choked when she was bottle-feeding him, her employer accused her of strangling the child. At the police station, unable to speak or understand the language, under threat and much coercion she signed a “confession.” This confession stood as the chief evidence against her in court where she was tried without representation and sentenced to death.

Despite the international campaign for clemency, Saudi authorities beheaded Nafeek in January 2013. Saudi Arabia is one of three countries that executes individuals for crimes committed when they were minors. Sixty-nine executions were carried out in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Many migrant workers remain in jail, sentenced to death.

Pray for the protection of vulnerable migrant workers in Saudi Arabia whose human rights are violated (The Bible, Psalm 91:9-10).

Pray for God to dispel the darkness that reigns in the region where human life is shown little respect (The Bible, John 8:32).

Pray that people would come to know the compassionate Lord Jesus Christ and find life, hope, and peace in Him (The Bible, Lamentations 3:22-23).

Sources: The Guardian, The New Yorker

This article originally appeared in the March 2013 Edition of the Win 10/40 Reporter.
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