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06/19/2023 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – Meet Murad, a man born Hindu from northern Pakistan who chose to leave Hinduism to follow Christ a decade ago. His decision to convert was not an easy one, but he believed in the transformative power of Christ after hearing the gospel. It was irresistible to stay silent.

With courage and determination, he shared the gospel with his family, and they also converted. Twelve families soon followed in his footsteps.

Murad’s commitment to Christ led him to start a school where he teaches Christian values to his students – but not all of his students are Christians. Out of the 35 students he teaches, only 12 are from Christian families while 23 are from a Hindu background.

But Murad’s work is not without its dangers. Islam is the dominant religion in Pakistan, and Muslims use archaic blasphemy laws to punish Christians trying to live out their faith. They claim blasphemy against their Christian neighbors, which results in beatings, arrests, and in too many cases, the death penalty.

Still, Christ is alive in Pakistan, working through the dedicated followers who spread His message of love and peace. People like Murad risk persecution to teach the next generation about Christ, ultimately breaking the cycle of persecution and expanding the church in Pakistan.

Most Christians living in Pakistan work lowly jobs like laying bricks and cleaning sewers. They don’t make enough to send their children to school, so they are condemned to follow in their parent’s footsteps. Education is the surest way to break the cycle. If more Christian youth enter the workforce with skills, it would be difficult to keep them isolated without also suffering from their absence of talent. This starts with the youngest children.

Murad knows that the children need literacy, basic math, and a community of fellow believers to support them. For this reason, he gathers the children of his village to a shack near town. There they learn the basics as well as about Christ. Murad tells them that they are the future and that through Christ, who loves them unconditionally, they can do anything.

Murad and his family are constantly under threat, and the school where he teaches requires basic necessities like clean water, Bibles and Christian teaching materials, and book bags for the children.

Working with local partners, ICC provided all these necessities for the children, so they not only have a safe learning environment but also one where they can thrive spiritually and continue to learn more about the Lord.

Working with pastors in Pakistan is humbling. These children aren’t Murad’s, and most of them aren’t from Christian families, yet he risks everything to share the Good News and give them a chance when the rest of the country won’t. As a young man himself, he knows the importance of investing in the next generation. He strives to give them the skills and, more importantly, the faith to go against the status quo and make positive changes for the Christian community in a nation hostile to it.

Despite the risks, Murad remains committed to his mission. He understands the danger he faces, but he also understands the eternal reward that awaits those who follow Christ. His story testifies to the power of faith and the courage of those willing to stand up for their beliefs, even in the face of persecution.

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