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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_custom_heading text=”By Claire Evans” font_container=”tag:h6|text_align:left” use_theme_fonts=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1589985879617{margin-bottom: 22px !important;}”][vc_single_image image=”99665″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]06/19/2020 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – Life as an MBB often involves rejection, exile, torture, and even murder. Ahmed, Gamal, and Mary are three MBBs who endured torture and exile for their faith. Their example remains a shining witness for Christ and underscores why we seek out MBBs to aid them and guide them in their new life with Christ.

Under the Knife

The knife paused before plunging as Ahmed laid on top of the operating table. The surgery promised a welcome relief to the pain Ahmed had felt for months, pain gained through multiple beatings for no other reason than his conversion to Christianity.

Ahmed is a Sudanese refugee living in Cairo and, before converting to Christianity, his life had many difficulties. These challeng­es didn’t stop after his conversion; in fact, they only increased. He has a passion for living his faith boldly, and many other Sudanese refu­gees accepted Christ because of his testimony. He was beaten six times and forced to relocate because of this, but still returns to share the Gospel with his fellow refugees. Our team asked him, “Are you not afraid of going there again after you have been beaten six times?”

“These are my people. How can I abandon my people? I have to share the Good News with them,” responded Ahmed.

The surgery, paid for by ICC, corrected many of the physical problems that resulted from these beatings. Today, Ahmed still lives in Egypt and continues to boldly share the Gospel. However, there is one challenge: his Muslim extended family now lives with him, and they are hostile toward Christianity. Ahmed has a 3-month old daughter and for her sake, “(We) are keeping quiet in our home.”

Two Personalities

Gamal is trapped in an identity conun­drum. His legal identity and his national ID list him as Muslim, mandating that he act as a Muslim in various ways; but Gamal is a Christian, a convert from Islam. “I dis­covered the lies which I was living and one night, I repented and accepted Jesus,” he recalled.

Gamal hid his conversion, but his per­sonality changed. “My wife felt the change which happened in me,” he explained. “She phoned my family and told them. So they came and beat me [terribly] so that I would repent.”

This happened three times. His hand was broken, and Gamal nearly lost his eye. His wife threatened divorce. Nevertheless, Gamal remained with his family. “[My wife] lives with me in the hope that I would return to Islam. She sees me praying for my family and asks me, ‘You are still praying for them after what they have done to you?’ I tell her that I love them as Jesus loves them.”

While Gamal’s family knows of his con­version, others in his life are unaware. He wants his wife to know Jesus and to provide for her, but if his employers learned of his conversion, he would be fired. He shared, “(Pray) that I have stable work, because each time they know that I am a Christian at work, they fire me.”

Gamal is caught between his real and his legal identities, yet his faith remains strong. “The discipleship group is very important to me,” he said, “In the group, I can share my weaknesses without being afraid they would not accept me. Our aim is to grow together and learn how to share our faith with oth­ers.”

The Cost of a Bible

Mary’s family has a widespread reputation in Egypt; some are Members of Parliament. She lives alone with her sister in a simple apartment where they pray to remain undis­covered. “The [biggest] problem that I and my sister [face is that we] don’t feel safe because the family is looking for us,” said Mary. “Also, I pray to God [to provide] for our physical needs.”

Mary’s conversion brought great shame and shock to her family. Her desire for a Bible ultimately led to the family’s division. After Mary converted, she visited several churches and asked for a Bible. In fear of being tricked and punished for helping a convert, many churches refused.

When she finally found a Bible, her mother discovered her faith. “My mother opened the door and saw a Bible in my hand,” recalled Mary. “Everybody in the home beat me and injured me. My leg was broken, and they didn’t let me visit doctors. They brought imams to convince me to turn back to Islam.”

One day, Mary overheard her family’s plan to murder her. She hid under her hijab, and escaped out the window. Her sister later converted to Christianity and also escaped.

Though much time has passed, they live in isolation and in constant fear of discov­ery. “I don’t feel safe because the family is still looking for us. The only friendships that I have are with people in the discipleship group,” explained Mary.

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