Egyptian Convert Stands Firm for Christ Against All Odds
By Claire Evans
01/08/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – Growing up in Egypt as the son of an Islamic Sheikh, Mohamed’s life was filled with religion. As a Sheikh, his father was supposed to live as a religious man from whom others could seek guidance about living a holy, Islamic life. But his father lived a very immoral life, causing Mohamed to question Islam. By asking questions, he eventually came to know Christ, a choice which cost him his family and risked his life.
For Mohamed, his father’s treatment of women was what initially caused him to question Islam. He was shocked as he watched his father mistreat his mother. “As soon as I grew up, I wanted to leave the house and get married and start a family away from home,” he recalled. “I did this and got married. But I was afraid to take my wife to my family’s house and leave her for a couple of hours, because I was afraid that my father would sexually abuse her while I was not there.”
In order to provide for his family, Mohamed worked as a carpenter. Through his job, he met many Muslims like his father: religious men who were supposed to be an example for others. “But through my work, I have seen many of them cheat and [they] do not keep their words. They are not honest, on the contrary towards many Christians I dealt with. And this raised a lot of questions in my mind. Who is right?”
Mohamed continued with carpentry, not realizing that God was using this job as an opportunity to teach him about Christianity. One day, a Christian family came in and commissioned Mohamed for work. They made a deep impression on him. “There was something special in the way he cared and talked. He was the [kind of] person you feel comfort with. So this raised the question, why are Christian people in general good? [Here] are people who are very pure and you like to be with them?”
He decided that it was time to take a closer look at Christianity. His home had an empty apartment, and he used to sneak downstairs to watch Christian satellite TV. At first, he found it difficult to understand. After about a week, he decided to call in to one of the programs. Every day, he called and asked questions about Christianity. Finally, he asked if he could meet someone in person and an appointment was made. In a church.
Mohamed had never gone inside a church. Simply going to the church put his life at risk. But he was determined, and shocked at what he found there. “Everybody was praying and praising. There was a different atmosphere than what I expected because I was raised on believing that the Christians are doing immorality at churches. This is what they teach us at mosques. But I discovered it was all lies; all they were telling us about Christians were lies.”
“I understood later that [Islamic] religious people told us this so that we would not come close to Christians because they are afraid that we will be affected by them,” continued Mohamed.
“I understood later that [Islamic] religious people told us this so that we would not come close to Christians because they are afraid that we will be affected by them.”
He began regularly attending church and continued with daily excursions to watch Christian TV programs in the empty apartment. He “became convinced that there is life in Jesus and death and hate with Islam. So I believed in Jesus and became a Christian.”
A change came over Mohamed’s life. He knew that he had to take care and that the discovery of his newfound faith would cause severe problems. His family noticed that he was acting different. He resolved to treat his wife better, and to even help her with small tasks such as washing the dishes.
One day, Mohamed was sitting in the empty apartment and fell asleep with the Bible in his hand and the Christian TV turned on. His wife came downstairs looking for him, and immediately realized that Mohamed was different because he had become a Christian. She called her brothers, who in turn called the Sheikh of a nearby mosque.
Soon, eight men arrived at Mohamed’s house. They asked him to pray with them and recite the Islamic oath as a test to see if was now a Christian. When Mohamed refused, he was beaten and dragged into the street while his two daughters watched. His neighbors saw what was happening. They took him to the police and made charges that he had committed apostasy by leaving Islam.
“The officer asked, and I told him, ‘Yes, I have become a Christian and this is not a felony,’” recalled Mohamed. “So he slapped my face and after a long detention told me, ‘If I let you free, they will kill you. So what I will do is release you, but you have to leave the area and disappear.’”
Mohamed left and began living with a Christian friend. Meanwhile, his wife’s brothers made her sell their house and stole the money. He knew that it was then too dangerous to reunite with her, so he left the area and opened a new carpentry shop. For one year, he lived this way. But then his new neighbors realized that Mohamed was no longer Muslim, and had instead become a Christian.
“One day, I was delivering some work and they stopped me and beat me [almost] to death and threw me in a remote area,” said Mohamed. Somehow, he found himself in a hospital’s intensive care unit with internal bleeding. That night, he saw a vision of Jesus touching him and he was immediately healed. The doctors were amazed and brought in the head doctor. “When I told him that Jesus healed me, he spat on me and let me go.”
Once again, Mohamed had to find a new place to live and start his life anew. This time, he decided that he would live more boldly for Christ. He contacted his wife and daughters, and found them living in difficult circumstances since his wife’s brothers had forced them to sell the house. He found the boldness to share the Gospel message with them. “When I met them, I forgave my wife of what she has done and I showed my daughters the love that Jesus has put in me towards them.”
Today, Mohamed continues to live estranged from his family. But he is hopeful for reconciliation with his wife and daughters, and prays that they too may come to know Christ. We must continue to keep Mohamed in our prayers, both for his safety and for his family.
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