Strengthening God's underground church

29 Jun, 2011 | Poland
OM International
Moner, a third generation believer from Syria worked as a Christian worker under the protection of a Muslim Ambassador from Syria in Communist Poland. He still lives in Warsaw (Poland) with his wife and seven children.
When an American Christian worker explained the Gospel to Moner's grandfather, Gattas became a believer. Soon after, Gattas’ home became the site of the first Christian meetings in Tegion, Syria, until angry Muslims burnt down his house and barn. As Syria was still under French mandate in 1925, those responsible for the damage were imprisoned, but Gattas pleaded with the authorities to let them go. “I want to forgive them because Jesus forgave me,” explained Gattas to the judge. The freed prisoners sought out Gattas, apologised, and they became friends.

Paving the way

As a second generation Christian, Moner’s father went on to become pastor and established a Christian school in the same town. As a result of his help and support, one of the guilty men’s sons studied at the school, and years later, became vice president of Syria.

Moner worked as a Christian worker under the protection of a Muslim ambassador from Syria who knew Moner was a believer.

In an effort to secure his position at home, the president transferred the vice president of Syria to Poland as an ambassador of Syria. In 1968, Moner moved from Syria to Poland to study engineering. As a third generation believer, he married a Christian woman from Poland, but was unable to stay in communist Poland without a job. Although the ambassador of Syria knew that Moner was a believer, he agreed to hire him as a teacher of mathematics to the children of diplomats from Arab countries. Moner’s personal agenda became two-fold: to teach the children of diplomats and to do underground mission work.

Working in communist Poland

Moner worked as a Christian worker under the protection of a Muslim ambassador from Syria who knew Moner was a believer. The KGB in Poland never stopped Moner because the diplomatic relations between Syria and Poland were very strong. Moner would teach university students about God, and when asked by the KGB what Moner had taught, the students would say that he had only spoken about Jesus. Because Moner never mentioned politics, he was left in peace.

The ambassador of Syria worked in Poland until 1985, by which time the Solidarity movement led by Lech Walesa to end communism had become strong in Poland. The Communist Party and KGB concentrated their effort against this movement, and thus life for believers in the country got easier. Moner went on to establish Campus Crusade for Christ in Poland, which officially registered after the collapse of communism. Moner also established a church in Warsaw, where he lives with his wife, Stenia, and their seven children.

Power of testimony

“As I spent time with Moner, his humility and life experience radiated from him,” reported Esko, founder of OM Europe’s Bus4Life ministry. “I was encouraged to hear how Moner had worked as an underground Christian worker, protected by a Muslim diplomat, in a communist country. God's ways are truly amazing! Through Moner's testimony, I was reminded of two important things: the power of forgiveness and the impact of our actions on the lives of future generations.”

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