Christians across the Middle East – in countries where the faith is persecuted – have been sharing photos of their Christmas trees in defiance.
Pictures are being posted all over Twitter and Facebook as part of the My Treedom campaign, which aims to ‘celebrate freedom from persecution and the right to Christmas everywhere around the world’.
Images have been coming in thick and fast from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and Syria and shows the people who are going to extreme lengths to be festive even in countries where Christians can be killed for their faith.
#MyTreedom was started by journalist Lisa Daftari, who edits the Foreign Desk website. Speaking to The Independent, she described the response as ‘truly heartwarming and overwhelming’.
This is how Christians are standing up to oppression, and this is the beauty of human nature demonstrating the people’s determination to live life despite the harsh realities that is so often lost in mainstream reporting.
It includes a woman who smuggled a Christmas tree into Saudi Arabia, a family decorating the tree after escaping Pakistan and festive revellers close to Isis strongholds.
In most of these countries, Christians can not practice their faith in the public gaze and can be tortured or even executed for doing so.
Daftari added that she hopes to raise awareness of Christian persecution around the world as well as sharing some ‘happier stories’.
It’s great to see these people to come together and fight this disgusting oppression.