‘Better a murderer than a Christian?’—pray for 22-year-old Amiel in Central Asia

October 5, 2021 by Becca Anderson in Asia

Sometimes a testimony from a brother or sister halfway across the world grabs you by the heart and won’t let go. And you know you can’t do anything right then but drop to your knees and pray. That is the case with Amiel*, a young man in Central Asia.

We can’t disclose Amiel’s face (the photo above is a representative image), real name or the country where he lives. Doing so would put him in great danger. But we can tell you he lives in one of the 50 most dangerous countries for Christians. In his country and throughout Central Asia, anyone who leaves Islam faces hatred and often violence from their immediate and extended family.

Here, Amiel shares his story in his own words—a sobering reminder of the cost of faith and the need to pray for and support persecuted Christians in this region.

My name is Amiel*. I’m 22 years old, and I live with my parents, who are Muslim. They try to be religious and pray five times a day. Their desire was that I became a Muslim, and follow them in their footsteps. But I was not like them.

In 2016, a classmate of mine invited me to a church where I heard the gospel, andI accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. I didn’t know how I could tell my parents that I had become a Christian. But I had to, because they often told me about Islam, and advised me to attend the mosque and prayers.

One day, my parents saw a Christian video that some friends and I were watching. So, I told them I’m a Christian. They were in shock, and began to scold me. They took my [passport and ID cards], so I would be completely under their control. My uncle was working on our farm and came to me with a whip in his hand. He began to hit me on the head. Then he tried to pull me to the barn where he planned to hang me. My parents stood by, as if supporting my uncle.

It would be better if you became a murderer than a Christian!’ my uncle said.  He tried to persuade me by calling Christians liars. I silently endured all this, knowing that if I started saying something, I would [be killed].

Somehow, Amiel found the courage after this to share the gospel with his 17-year- old sister. He has now left home, hoping to get a new passport and leave the country, to serve God in another place.

*representative name and image used for security purposes.

Pray with Amiel

  • Ask God to lead him to a new family and a supportive community where he can find a job and be encouraged in his faith.
  • Thank God that Amiel is safe, and that God protected him from being killed by his family.
  • Pray for Amiel’s family. Ask God to soften their hearts and lead them to the truth of Jesus.
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