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#MyTreedom - Christians in The Middle East Risk Posting Christmas Joy on Social Media

A Facebook page has been created specially for those wanting to celebrate Christmas in the Middle East countries where you can be severely punished for your faith. People have to gone to extreme lengths to be able to celebrate a decent Christmas, including one woman smuggling a Christmas tree into Saudi Arabia in her suitcase.

#MerryChristmas from Saudi Arabia! This woman had to smuggle this tree into the country by hiding it in her suitcase!...
Posted by My Treedom on Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Foreign affairs journalist Lisa Daftari was the one to set up the Facebook page for those who wanted to honour their beliefs this Christmas. Over 21k people like the page so far and you can find pictures of families celebrating Christmas. She wanted to show that there should be 'freedom from persecution'. She hopes to encourage more families to share their Christmas joy. In a lot of the pictures you can see that the faces are blurred out, and that is because of the risk of punishment. Some of these families are in parts of the country occupied by ISIS which puts them in even more danger.

No religion other than Islam is allowed to be openly practised in many parts of the Middle East, making this a very big risk. This is depsite the 1.2 million expatriates who live there. Pictures have been sent from Pakistan, Iran and Iraq where that minority of Christians are risking their lives. It is obviously worth it for them. The aim of #MyTreedom on Facebook and Twitter is made to allow anyone to celebrate Christmas wherever they may be. Only very small percentages are Christian but this is overseen by the fact that they are simply not accepted.

Last year Islamic State law gave Christians three choices: either they paid £315 per family, they converted to Islam or they died. So I suppose people stayed quiet and went into hiding instead. That is not the only thing. While in some countries it is punishable by death to be a Christian or convert to Christianity, in other places women who are Christians can be raped and even taken as sex slaves. Lisa explains that she has been able to learn more about the truth over the last 10 years and has 'the privilege of working with real sources on the ground who I know and get to understand, outside the realm of politics but in understanding the emotional experience of the victims'.

The page may be a huge risk, but the intention is great. It is a bit of a delicate subject, but if Christians in the Middle East can have some support this Christmas, then hopefully they will be able to enjoy the holidays just like everyone else. People are posting on the page and fighting for their right to celebrate Christmas.

Visiting with family in Saudi Arabia hasn’t deterred E from celebrating Christmas! This beautiful tree was smuggled in from Bahrain. No one ever said freedom was free! #MyTreedom.
Posted by My Treedom on Monday, 21 December 2015

One of the newest members of The SMF Group. Although she loves a good city life, she grew up in the beautiful French countryside. Who knew that talking to a bunch of cows and friendly chickens would get her here? Quite used to writing stories in her bedroom, she is now deciding if she's cut out for content writing. We'll see! Follow her @SophieAtSMF

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#MyTreedom - Christians in The Middle East Risk Posting Christmas Joy on Social Media Reviewed by Unknown on Tuesday, December 22, 2015 Rating: 5

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