Crossing the Bridge

Christian Persecution Stories: A Muslim-Background Believer

2012 11 21 Christian Persecution Stories from a MMB   2 resized 600
BY AIDAN CLAY

Christian converts from Islam often face the brunt of persecution in the Islamic world. In the eyes of Muslims, they have committed an “unforgivable crime,” having deserted the “light of Islam” to become infidels by following what Muslims believe to be a false religion. Christian converts face immense pressure from their family and neighbors to recant their faith and return to Islam. To refuse often results in verbal and physical abuse from those they love most and may eventually lead to ostracism from their community. Despite these hardships, however, Samia gave her life to Jesus and wants the world to know her Christian persecution stories from the heartland of Algeria.  

A Life Changed Forever

I was a Muslim by inheritance, both by culture and obligation,” Samia, whose name has been changed for her own security, told ICC. “I admit now that I was only a hypocrite to follow Islam, because Islam formed no part of my life. But, the discovery of Jesus Christ and the Gospel changed my life forever and gave it meaning. I finally found the God that I can love, worship and serve freely, because Islam was only a form of slavery.”

I became a Christian in 2007. After I saw the movie ‘Passion of the Christ’ I prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, if you really forgive sins, show me and forgive me.’ That night I had a dream. There was a man dressed in white and another in black who came to meet me. The man in white said, ‘Give yourself as a sacrifice and I will raise you from the dead and give you new life.’ The man in black was standing over a corpse and responded, ‘Look at this dead man. He gave himself as a sacrifice and he has not risen.’ The man in white showed me a lamb and said, ‘Behold, the lamb was sacrificed for your sins. Give yourself as a sacrifice and you will rise again.’ At that moment, I gave myself to Jesus and saw my life as a sacrifice. Immediately after, I opened my eyes and I realized that I was resurrected from the dead, without knowing how.”

Trouble and Persecution Begin

 “Trouble and persecution began at the time of my marriage to the man I love. When his family found out that I was Christian, they did their best to cancel our marriage. They first asked him to get another wife who is Muslim. When he refused, they told him they would not attend our wedding. We got married and lived five quiet months without any troubles. But this quietness proceeded with a strong storm. My husband’s brother was also a Christian. When he got married to a Christian wife, their parents realized their house was being invaded by Christians! We could feel their fear of seeing everybody converting to Christianity and we endured the rejection of the family for a month.”

2012 11 21 Christian Persecution Stories from a MMB

After that, the parents kicked both of us out of their home which was unbearable because we had nowhere to go. But, we found a friend who allowed us to stay in a hen house he had built in another village. We lived for seven months in that hen house, but villagers and his nephew eventually found out that we were Christian. ‘How dare you allow Christians here in our village?’ they said to him. You must know that any person who abandons Islam is an apostate, or an unbeliever, which is a serious crime to Muslims.”

We quietly stayed another two months in the hen house because we had no money and it was a terrible crisis. Our dear friend tried to help but there was just too much pressure on him. So we eventually went home to see if the family would accept us. But the family members just insulted us, humiliated us, and even blasphemed the name of Christ. Their mouths were like volcanoes, incessantly uttering hurtful and blasphemous words at us.  The persecution became harder when they hit us. Even worse, the parents filed a complaint against us with the police. The head of police ordered us to leave the house within 15 days or they would arrest us.”

The Lord blessed us because we found a Christian couple that allowed us to stay in their house when they were out of the country for training. For us, it was a kindness of the Lord and a great relief. We were finally able to sleep at night without fear, but it was only for a short time. During those three months, we sought the face of God, and we responded in his grace.”

Hope in the Darkness

A few days ago my maternal grandmother died. But before her death, she had told my mother to give her home to my husband and me. Although my mother was reluctant to give us the house, I persisted in my prayers because the Lord gave me this promise in Isaiah 43:4 ‘You are precious and I love you, I give men in exchange for you…’ The Lord is faithful and answered our prayers. We have now lived in my grandmother’s house for two years. When I remember that all of what we faced was simply because we are Christian, it makes me cry. But these are the Christian persecution stories of so many of our brothers and sisters in Christ in Algeria.”

Tags: Testimony