A costly question: Report from the Middle East

There are many who are interested to know about Jesus and the Bible. I recently chatted with some young men who wanted to know everything I believed from the Trinity, to the Incarnation, to the Second Coming of Christ. Rather than arguing, they listened and asked questions. Some of them asked for Bibles because they wanted to read for themselves what was written in my “holy book”.

However, another incident left me quite shaken. After many months of studying the Bible alongside the Qur’an with an English student, he concluded that all his life his family, friends, teachers and his community had been deceiving him and forcing him to believe a lie called Islam. Shortly after he came limping into my office at the school. He had bruises all over his body and stank of petrol. He told me that he had confronted his father with one of the issues he had with their religion. “Why are we taught to kill our enemies when Jesus said in the Bible we should love our enemies?” Rather than answering the question, his father went into a rage and started beating him and slashing him with a knife. He then poured petrol over his head and came at him with a lighter threatening to set light to him if he ever questioned their religion again.

“What am I going to do?” he cried in my office. “I cannot believe in a lie anymore but if I don’t continue going to the mosque, I will be killed. If I go to the mosque and pray with the rest, I will be lying to everyone around me who thinks I am still participating in the lie they believe.” I did not know what to say. How could I respond? It might seem easy for me, a Westerner and guest in the country to say, “You should die for your new found faith if you believe it is true.” But I will never feel the same kind of persecution my friend is experiencing.

We just prayed and cried together. Please pray for “Ahmed” and others like him who face such persecution, and for wisdom for missionaries in how to support them.

This report is taken from the December 2017 newsletter of ReachAcross and is used with permission.


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