Asim closed his eyes, but he could still feel the machine gun his brother had jammed against his head. He waited for what felt like years for his brother to pull the trigger. His other brother, Rashid, shook with fear beside him. It was their worst nightmare … that their own flesh and blood would turn on them just because they were Christians.
This is a story about three brothers. Two Christians. One a radical Muslim. I’ve had to change the names of the two Christians because if the third brother ever learned where they are, it would put them in extreme danger.
Since they became Christians, Asim and Rashid have faced more persecution and trauma than they ever expected — least of all from their own family. And they’re not alone. So many Christians around the globe are abused, imprisoned, and sometimes even killed for their faith.
They need our prayers, which is why on Nov. 1 — International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church — believers worldwide will unite in praying for our brothers and sisters who are suffering.
In addition to your prayers, there is one other thing that persecuted Christians are asking for. Many of them don’t even have a Bible to bring them comfort through these trials. Your $10 gift today can change that, though. You can provide a copy of God’s Word to a persecuted Christian who has never owned one before.
Imagine the incredible gift that would be for someone like Asim.
Standing there that day with the gun pressed against his head, Asim looked up at the fury in his brother’s eyes, and he knew he was about to meet his Savior.
But suddenly, Asim’s mother pushed her armed son to the ground before he could shoot.
“Run!” she screamed at Asim and Rashid. The two brothers took off, too afraid to look back. They didn’t have time to grab their Bibles or any other possessions for that matter. Asim and Rashid fled and now live in a different city, hiding from their own family.
Asim always knew that sharing his faith was a risk. When he first became a Christian, he wanted to tell everyone what had happened. But in Iraq, an announcement like that isn’t safe.
He especially wanted to tell his brother Rashid about his decision. But he was too afraid. For two years, Asim kept being a Christian to himself. Until, one day, he couldn’t keep the secret any longer. He decided to tell Rashid about Jesus … only to find out that Rashid had already accepted the Lord too, even before Asim had.
The brothers hugged, rejoicing together and praising God for the other’s salvation. Why had they waited so long to share this good news with one another?
They didn’t want to live in fear anymore. So, they decided they wanted to tell their Muslim parents and five other brothers, as well.
That’s when their brother turned on them — locking them in a room and threatening them with a gun.
Even though they were afraid, Asim and Rashid were ready and willing to die for their faith.
It’s almost unfathomable for us to understand what persecuted Christians go through on a daily basis. But what’s crystal clear is that they need the comfort, support, and validation found in the pages of God’s Word.
Unfortunately, Christians who live in persecution zones are also the ones least likely to have access to Bibles. They may have had to leave their copies behind when fleeing violence. They may not be able to afford one. Or they may live in a place like North Korea where Bibles are illegal and extremely difficult to find.
This month, as you prepare for the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, you can be the one to give a persecuted Christian the greatest gift he could ever receive: a Bible.
Despite persecution, the underground church in places like Iraq, North Korea, and China is growing. And these new believers need Bibles! Your $10 will provide a Bible to a persecuted believer who desperately needs its hope and comfort.
People are coming to Christ because brave Christians like Asim and Rashid are living out their faith against all odds.
Will you live out your faith by spreading the Gospel, too?
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The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church is . . .