In many cases, our persecuted brothers and sisters in the Middle East and North Africa have witnessed tremendous acts of violence and hatred before they have turned their lives over to Christ. Shocked and confused over the experiences they’ve had with extremist Muslims, they find the way of Truth through Jesus Christ after months and sometimes years of searching. And they accept God’s Truth even in the face of extreme persecution.
Our brother Nazmi’s journey to Christ started violently. Now, he has a bright future ahead—full of hope.
Friends with Extremists
Nazmi, a divorced father of two sons, grew up as a devout Muslim in Iraq. Nazmi became friends with some extremists who controlled his city and saw first-hand their crimes and acts of violence.
One day, he witnessed the beheading of a 19-year-old who had cursed the Prophet Mohammad. The extremists ‘executed’ him according to Islamic law which states whoever curses the prophet should be killed.
After watching the beheading, Nazmi went home troubled. Shocked by what he experienced, he began to avoid praying and going to the mosque, He continued reading the traditional Islamic texts and discovering the many atrocities committed by the prophet of Islam.
Finding the Way of Truth
What he found heightened his curiosity about other gods, so he began reading a Bible that a friend had shared with him. He was surprised to learn about God’s love, and he struggled with the idea of Jesus being both God and man. As he continued to study, God helped him understand how He loved us and sent His Son to save each one of us.
As he learned more about the love and grace of Jesus, he began to see that Jesus really is the One True God. He could no longer compare God and the Bible to Allah and the Quran. Things were unfolding in his life that only God could orchestrate.
Nazmi experienced God’s faithfulness and mercy, when after two years of praying, his older son was returned to his care. A father of two, when Nazmi and his wife divorced, their older son went to live with his mother. For two years, Nazmi prayed faithfully that God would return him. God faithfully answered that prayer, and his older son came to live with him and Nazmi’s younger son.
One day, as Nazmi and his sons watched a Christian television show, he heard the verse: “I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me,” from Revelation 3:20. After hearing this, Nazmi asked his son to prepare the dining table. His son was confused, wondering who the guest was.
To Nazmi, this was an invitation to Jesus to come in and abide with him and his sons.
Later, as Nazmi slept, he was awakened by a bright light. He stared at the light, waiting for a word or a sign, but it faded. He felt safety and warmth from the light. After this vision, Nazmi told his sons that he believed in Jesus Christ.
Nazmi’s mother and siblings lived with him at the time, and he began telling them about God, using the limited number of verses he had memorized. His family members turned against him and alienated him. Not long after, Nazmi’s sister told him that people in the city knew about his conversion, and he was in danger.
Nazmi and his sons left and settled in another city, continuing to read the Bible secretly.
Walking in the Way of Truth
Soon, he met a Christian brother who helped him understand the Bible, and he enrolled the boys in an educational program. Where Nazmi lived, he could sense that it would not be safe for him if his neighbors found out that he followed Jesus. In fact, he was already experiencing persecution in the way of threats and name-calling because the people living near him believed he was of a different sect of Islam.
Nazmi and his sons moved once again to a safer area, and all three are now being discipled by Help The Persecuted Field Ministry Team members—all three of them plan to be baptized soon.
Following Christ has cost Nazmi and his sons a great deal: his marriage, family relationships, livelihood, his community, and stability. After being displaced twice and under the threat of being discovered as a Christian, Nazmi had difficulty supporting his sons. Help The Persecuted came alongside Nazmi with resources for living expenses and necessities while he established a business for himself.
Prayer and Support for the Persecuted
Pray with us that Nazmi continue growing in his faith, and that his business endeavors would prosper to the glory of God.
Prayerfully consider a gift today, in order to: Rescue believers escaping imminent danger; Restore believers to full physical, emotional, and spiritual health. And Rebuild their lives, empowering them to thrive as disciples of Christ in hostile places.
Your help will minister hope to our brothers in Christ—Nazmi and his sons.