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ICC Note:

A customs officer at Baghdad Airport was killed by his family after converting to Christianity, according to his wife who is also a Christian. His family discovered his newfound faith after he attempted to share the Gospel with his mother. Despite her husband’s death, the widow continues to serve Christ by teaching her neighbors how to read the Bible. Muslim background believers are at great risk because of their conversion. Their families are often openly hostile to their new faith, causing many to flee or practice their faith in secret. Nevertheless, converts such as this widow continue to courageously persevere and share the Gospel in areas where many are afraid to go.  

10/13/2017 Iraq
(Eternity News) – Nabil Omiesh was scared when a Customs official at Baghdad Airport confronted him about the children’s Bibles he was carrying in his suitcase.

The programme director for the Bible Society of Iraq had brought the Bibles from Erbil in the Kurdish area of northern Iraq, where Bible Society has been ministering to refugees fleeing from ISIS persecution since 2014.

When the Customs officer closed the suitcase and asked Nabil to follow him, he feared that he was in deep trouble.

“I go from place to place until we reach his office and inside I saw that he was the Customs Director,” says Nabil. “So I said ‘oh-oh’ and I start praying. He opened my passport said, ‘What are you doing?’ I said ‘I work for the Bible Society.’ He said, ‘You evangelise Muslims, yeah?’ I said ‘We distribute Bibles to churches. And sometimes we distribute food to the churches to give to others.’”

The Customs official then mentioned a particular church and asked if he had distributed food and Bibles there. When Nabil said “Yes,” the officer closed his passport and said “relax.”

It turned out that this man’s son had come home from the church with a package of food and a Bible after he lost his job with the Ministry of Information and couldn’t feed his family.

“He said ‘that night I couldn’t sleep; I want to understand why Christians want to help us – we are Muslims. Actually, my family are very extremist.’

“He start thinking and he start to read but it is a children Bible. In the morning he goes to church and asks for a Bible. They give him a Bible and he came back and start reading the Bible every single day. During six months, he reads the whole Bible and starts listening to the Christian radio station … He said ‘I want to share my story and it was like God sent you.’”

As Nabil turned to leave, the officer said, “Hey, brother, anytime you come to Baghdad Airport remember you have a brother here – his name’s Muhammed.” Then he comes over and whispers: “I’m your brother in Christ.” As Nabil starts crying, Muhammed reveals that his wife has also turned to Christ.

After this Nabil took his phone number and the two became close friends, although Nabil is not allowed to call Muhammed but has to wait for his call.

“One day he called me and said he was sad that his mother is going to hell so ‘please pray for my family.’ I promised to pray and said, ‘be wise because this is dangerous,’” Nabil says.

“After six weeks, he didn’t call me and I was worried. Then I received a call at one o’clock after midnight and I said ‘where are you?’ And nobody answered. I just closed the phone and I start praying for my friend. After ten minutes, he called again and I heard a woman talking. She said ‘my name is Sanar – I’m Muhammed’s wife.’ And she was crying. She said, ‘Muhammed passed away.’ I couldn’t believe it.”

Sanar revealed that after Muhammed shared the gospel with his mother, she talked with his father and his father became angry. He gave his son two days to repent or be killed.

“He said ‘no way.’ So his cousins just killed him,” Nabil says. “She told me, ‘if my husband died for Jesus one time, I’m ready to die 100 times for Jesus, so please pray for me, don’t call me unless send me a message.’”

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