A few days before, Nur and his friend Afzal Hosen had been going about their business as usual in Bangladesh. They had been Christians for about a year, converting from Islam in 2021 to follow Christ. They had been baptized shortly after and they had never looked back on their decision to follow Jesus. In fact, they wanted their Muslim community to experience Jesus as they had, so they distributed Bibles and religious booklets to them.
Some local Muslims couldn’t tolerate a Muslim-background Christian trying to convert more people from Islam. With no warning, a group kidnapped Nur and threatened him for hours.
“On that day, two unknown people came to my home and asked me to follow them a bit ahead of my home yard, saying their boss would like to talk to me and he was sitting in a minibus,” Nur says. “When I reached the door of that minibus, they suddenly picked me up and the bus very quickly left the place. I shouted for help, but nobody heard my voice.”
The kidnappers didn’t try and hide it: They wanted Nur to return to Islam. “If you return to Islam, you will be given a new job and a house to restart your life,” they told him. “If you do not renounce your faith, we will kill you. If we kill you here, no one will find your dead body. And then we will also kill your wife and son!”
The kidnappers left him alone for 30 hours with no food, water or sleep. Nur had every excuse to leave the faith—he could die, along with his family. But he couldn’t give up on Jesus.
“At some point during the interrogation, they became hopeless seeing my strong faith in Jesus,” he says. “Knowing that their strategy was not working at all, they left me at a place and told me not to share with anybody about what had happened with me.”
Nur was free, but a few days later, Afzal was taken. This time, they beat him.
Afzal was asked the same questions as Nur: “Why did you return to Christianity? Why did you leave Islam? How much money did you receive from the church to convert to Christianity?” When he gave them an answer they couldn’t accept, he was beaten. But his answers stayed focused on Christ.
“You can kill me, but you cannot take my faith in the Lord Jesus away from me. I am ready for any situation. I know well what I am doing,” Afzal told them.
Like Nur, Afzal was taken to a deserted house and was left without food, water or a bed for over 24 hours. But when the kidnappers got frustrated with Afzal’s faith, he was released.
The kidnappings left Nur and Afzal’s families shaken. When Nur and Afzal hadn’t returned for a few hours, they ran to their pastor, hoping he would be able to help them.
A group of people had interrupted the pastor’s servants before. He guessed that it was the same group who had kidnapped the two believers. “I forced them to bring them back or a kidnapping case will be filed against them,” he says. “Then we waited for their return. Praise God, they were returned the next day.”
Nur and Afzal’s faith endured a terrible attack. But God was with them. We know that this is the God we serve. He was with Moses at the Red Sea, with Elijah in the wilderness, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace, and with the early Church as they faced persecution.
And He was with Nur and Afzal. Praise God.