A Heavy Cost for Muslim-Background Believers
06/03/2019 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – Muslim-background believers (MBBs) are among the most vibrant Christians in the world. Hated by their countries, ostracized, beaten, and murdered by their families and neighbors, they persevere – serving, evangelizing, and preaching. Their love for Jesus floods light into the darkest corners of the Arab world.
In the words of one brave MBB, “The people you lead to the Lord, you baptize and disciple, you are committed to them.”
MBBs spend the majority of their lives in danger. Conversion to Christianity in these countries is illegal. A horrific series of cataclysmic actions closely follows the discovery of an MBB: first, they are rejected by family; then, they are thrown out onto the street, imprisoned, raped, beaten, forced into marriage, torn from their children, tortured, interrogated, or executed.
Secret MBBs endure a more isolating pain, cut off from fellowship with other believers for fear of what would happen if they do share their faith.
Bashir and Jasim
Bashir* is a recent convert to Christianity in Turkey. He was a member of the Nusra Front, an Al-Qaeda-affiliated group, who fought on the frontlines of the war in Syria. His conversion was a miracle.
Bashir was involved in extreme violence in the fight to establish an Islamic kingdom. He witnessed fellow Muslims kill and torture Christians in diabolical ways. Disillusioned by the hatred around him, he decided to risk everything and leave the war. He knew he would be killed if caught. But, he succeeded and eventually made his way to Turkey. He now lives to bring others like him to Christ.
Jasim* is another recent convert to Christianity who lives in Syria. ISIS jailed him for six months after discovering his ignorance of basic Islamic teachings. He was tortured and forced to read the Quran daily. Thankfully, his captors didn’t find out that he converted to Christianity or they would have probably murdered him.
These men are MBBs. Whether they come from the frontlines of ISIS, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, or a suburb of Cairo, their journey to Christ is extremely costly. There are two reasons for this.
First, Islam is more than a religion. It is an all-encompassing way of life that governs all aspects of life: from morning to night, cradle to grave. Leaving their life and loved ones behind is usually too high of a cost for the Muslim seeker to pay.
Second, leaving Islam also means that they may be raped, tortured, or murdered. Usually by their friends or family. Muhammad and Allah dictate that those who leave Islam permanently should be murdered. Conversion to Christianity is a terrible shame on the family. So, the family takes on the responsibility to restore the family honor by killing the apostate.
The Life of an MBB
MBBs pay a heavy price to find true life. They hold up a lantern in the dark, leading those around them to find true life in Jesus.
They know it may cost them their lives; but, unlike the rich young ruler, they are willing to sell everything. They know that Jesus, salvation, and eternal life are worth all their treasure.
*Bashir’s story was originally published in the New York Times.
*Jasim’s story was originally published by NBC.
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