“They threatened to kill me, and had God not protected me, they would have succeeded.”
The “they” in *Abdul’s story are not Islamic jihadist group an extremist group that is located primarily in Northern Nigeria that terrorizes Christians and churches in West Africa, fiercely attempting to eradicate Christianity. “They” are Abdul’s family.
When Abdul left his tribal religion of Islam and committed his life to Christ in 2000, his Muslim family felt and acted like he had just pointed a challenging dagger straight at them. Abdul’s family (part of the ethnic Kotoko group spread over Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria) always took pride in the fact that they were one of the few tribes in their region of Cameroon with no known Christians.
“When all their spells and curses with the help of the local medicine man failed, they tried to kill me themselves.”
More than once, Abdul’s family tried to poison his food. One night, strangers kidnapped him and took him to an unknown destination. “On the way there, I prayed for God to confuse them so they could release me. And He did! They just let me go without saying anything. I knew it was God who had changed their minds.”
Constant Schemes and Plots
Ten years down the road, and Abdul’s family has still not given up trying to get him back to Islam. He faces constant insults and exclusion from the family. His wife has also left him and often slanders him in front of their seven children.
Last October, his wife levied a case against him, causing the sultan of his area to summon him. Abdul’s wife reminded the sultan that he deserved to be beheaded, according to sharia law, because he had abandoned Islam.
“I just told them, ‘If you want to behead me because of Jesus, you might as well start right away.'”
When they saw their plot wasn’t going to convince Abdul to change his mind, they kept him in a cell for about four hours before his wife brought another charge against him.
Abdul’s wife then claimed she had purchased the land their house was built on and that he had failed to repay her. She asked to have Abdul evicted. When Abdul proved she was lying, she tried another scheme, claiming that he sold some of her property but had failed to pay her.
“But the sultan saw she had no charge against me and let me go,” Abdul says. “He even told her to apologize to me.”
‘They have seen how we are progressing with the gospel’
Realizing his wife would never give up, Abdul scraped together the disputed sum of money with the help of Christian friends and paid her. “They will stop at nothing to have me denounce my faith. They have seen how we are progressing with the gospel, and I know it’s an attempt to block this progress.”
Despite these challenges, Abdul continues to disciple a handful of Muslim Background Believers. He regularly meets with them for Bible study; he also helps them make a living through an Open Doors-supported vocational training center, where he teaches them to do tailoring.
“My family abandoned me, rejected me, did everything to have me go back to Islam, but the hand of God is with me. I count on the Lord, and He protects me. I trust Him. I continue in the faith. My wish is that one day we will have a church here for the Kotoko people that gathers openly, just like everyone else.”
Praying with Abdul
- Pray with Abdul that the Lord will continue to encourage, equip and protect him and his fellow Muslim background believers.
- Pray that God would build His Kingdom through them and that one day there will be a lively, strong Kotoko church, able to worship freely.
- Pray for Abdul’s persecutors–that God would draw his family and wife to Himself and use them for His glory.
- Pray for the Kotoko people that they would one day be able to worship freely.
Name and images are representative only.