They Couldn’t Steal His Faith, But His Body…
Dear Friend of the Persecuted Church,
Badshah learned about Jesus from the Quran.
A Muslim man in a thoroughly Muslim society, he was familiar with Jesus as a prophet from Islamic teachings. One day a Christian introduced him to Jesus who is more than a prophet.
That is when Badshah believed that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life – and no one comes to the Father except through Him.
And that is when his troubles began.
Troubles that could not steal his faith – but left his body tattered.
His story shows how God can use us – working together – to rescue captives and help heal Christians who suffer from the wounds of persecution.
In Badshah’s society, families believe they will go to hell if one member is a Christian. It is their duty to convince a convert to return to Islam. If he refuses, it is their duty to kill him – and if they do, then they will go to heaven.
Badshah was beaten and harassed. His family threatened to kill him. No one in his village or home would cooperate with him. No one would talk to him – except to scold and argue that he and fourteen generations of his family would go to hell.
(Please pray for Christian converts to endure every abuse hurled at them.)
Over time, through his faithful witness and preaching, his family believed in Jesus – along with 25 families in his village! Christian Freedom International provided a bicycle for him to reach more people, and to get his goods to market to sell.
Now, instead of trying to kill him, other people in his village tried another tactic. They summoned a well-known radical imam from a large city.
The Muslim scholar visited Badshah – multiple times – to force him to deny Jesus. He even offered money to the impoverished believer.
Badshah never relented. All of the abuse, though, took a toll on his health. He suffered a series of strokes that left him weakened.
Why – under this intense pressure – did he stay faithful to Jesus? It was simple.
“I read in the Bible that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven, and He is the Savior – and I need salvation,” Badshah said.
In his country, the constitution allows people to choose their belief. But criticizing Islam is “blasphemy” and illegal.
So the imam went to the police and accused Badshah of blasphemy.
In this thoroughly Muslim society where local officials face little scrutiny, the police only needed to be told that Badshah had converted to Christianity.
They threw him in jail.
The officers tried to find any evidence of wrongdoing by Badshah. They could find none.
Yet Badshah’s case was bleak. In his poor, isolated village, once a person is arrested no one helps or works on their behalf. They are alone and anonymous.
He was stranded. His relatives and other Christians were afraid to visit him – for an understandable reason: Would the same thing happen to them? (Please pray for Christians who are falsely accused.)
In the rare chance a person gets a lawyer, the lawyer does not meet with them until they go to court. There is little opportunity to prepare a defense.
During those dark days in jail . . . Badshah was confident in the Lord.
‘I knew I did not violate any laws. Even if others won’t help, God will help,” he said.
This is where Badshah’s case took a turn from most others.
Badshah belongs to Christian Freedom International’s network of pastors, nearly all who are converts and living in hostile areas.
Our co-worker discovered that Badshah had been falsely accused and imprisoned. He immediately got to work and tried a new tactic: sending a lawyer to the remote police station.
The lawyer walked in and announced that he represented an “international human and religious rights organization” – Christian Freedom International – on behalf of Badshah.
Can you imagine the scene? Wide-eyed officers retreated to the chief’s office where yelling ensued. This was now an international incident.
After an hour, the officers returned and said Badshah was not arrested for blasphemy but for . . . robbery. Then it changed to . . . murder. (Hmm, who was murdered?) Finally, they relented.
After four long, desperate days . . . Badshah was released from jail!
“It seemed like I was in a dark cave and went from darkness to light,” he said. “I felt free and knew the police would not arrest me again.”
And it gets better.
The police told the imam to go away and not cause any more problems!
Imams like this one notoriously target poor people in rural villages. And this imam won’t give up. Even after his unjust actions were exposed, he continues to try to coerce Badshah to return to Islam.
And the villagers still ostracize Badshah. They will not even look at him.
Cousins ignore him – even after he suffered three strokes from the stress, leaving his left side paralyzed. His relatives blame him for his health problems: It is his fault because he converted. (Please pray for Christians to be shielded from lies.)
The pressure on Christian converts can be overwhelming.
When Christian Freedom International’s co-workers learned that his condition was worsening, they traveled to Badshah to care for him. But he needed to be hospitalized.
Backed by your support for Christian Freedom International – thank you! – they made arrangements with a hospital.
In January, Badshah was carried by his family along the crude trail from his village to a city hospital.
Can you imagine making this journey with a partially paralyzed man with an infected leg – wounds earned for believing that Jesus is our Savior:
They walked down narrow dirt lanes, propping him up like human crutches.
They pushed him on a bike over sandy deserts.
They floated by wooden boat across a river.
Once at the hospital, the doctors extended his stay to ensure his recovery. This could have added more stress – how could he pay for it? – if it were not for you and others joining together through Christian Freedom International.
With your support and through God’s grace, Christian Freedom International has stood with Badshah throughout his ordeal.
When he walked to preach and go to the market to make an income, we provided a bike. When he was treated as a criminal and outcast, we visited and rescued him from jail. When he suffered wounds from persecution, we arranged his medical care – and took care of his legal and hospital bills.
Your prayers and gifts make it possible for Christian Freedom International to aid, equip – and stand with – persecuted Christians like Badshah.
P.S. Badshah and other pastors are eligible to be sponsored through Christian Freedom International’s unique Pastor Sponsorship program.
A small amount each month – $50 – helps to support these brave Christians as they minister and witness in rough areas. To find out more, email [email protected].