Breaking Down Cultural Walls to Reach Muslims: Mariya Dostzadah’s Story

Mariya Dostzadah Goodbrake comes from a Sunni Afghan background, dabbled into New Age mysticism, and found herself surrounded by Roman Catholics in Mexico—and it’s there that God brought her face-to-face with an evangelical Christian and the biblical gospel. Now, she draws on her rich cultural experiences to help Muslim refugees and expats realize that they don’t have to give up the trappings of their Near Eastern culture to authentically trust and follow Jesus Christ. In this episode, we hear Mariya’s powerful testimony and draw points of insight for those seeking to engage Muslims and other groups in the U.S. through sports outreach, hospitality, and other ways of building relationship.

Mariya is the director of Branch Global, delivering intercultural solutions, diversity and inclusion training, and migrant services. Mariya is the Executive Director of Global FC, a non-profit organization based in Kansas City that uses soccer as a vehicle for transformative impact, supporting refugee youth and families with the tools to overcome obstacles to success. A native from Afghanistan, Mariya was raised in Iran and India, immigrated to Canada with her family, and later to America in 2012. She studied at the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada in Political Science and International Relations. She is fluent in English, Dari and Farsi.

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