New Believer in Saudi Arabia Lives a Dangerous Faith

April 21, 2017 by Janelle P in Middle East

After having more and more doubts about Islam, the religion he had known all his life in Saudi Arabia, Mohammed* began looking for truth online. What he found changed his heart–and life as he knew it–forever.

“For many years, I had doubts when reading the Quran,” Mohammed shares. “For example, the fact that Allah and Mohammed are considered to be equal. How could Mohammed, a sinful man, be equal to God?”

There were more inconsistencies. Gradually, Mohammed decided to put his Muslim faith to the test. All his life he had been taught that missing even one of the five daily prayers would cause a Muslim immediate misfortune—something bad would most definitely happen if you ceased praying.

“So I decided to stop praying for just one day and see what happened,” Mohammed says. “Nothing bad happened. On the contrary, I had an amazingly successful business day.”

SEARCHING FOR TRUTH IN SAUDI ARABIA

His doubts were mounting. He began to look for other religions on the internet. Soon, he learned that the message of the Bible is easy to translate and understand in every culture. The love of God that he saw in the Scripture he read wouldn’t let go of him; he kept searching for more of it. To that end, Mohammed downloaded an app on his smartphone, which showed him the basic foundations of Christianity. Mohammed felt more and more eager to grow, to meet Christians, to visit a church and to own a Bible.

Churches are forbidden in Saudi Arabia, especially for native Saudis like Mohammed. In Saudi Arabia, converts from Islam could face the death penalty. Bibles are illegal there.

But that didn’t stop Mohammed. He traveled to two different countries in the Middle East where Christians are openly allowed to visit a church and obtain a Bible. But those “open” churches are usually not allowed to minister to Muslims, only to Christians from families that have been believers for centuries. Mohammed was not allowed to even enter these churches. They sent him away empty-handed without a Bible.

‘I know Jesus Christ is the Son of God’

But Mohammed knew he had found the truth. He wouldn’t let go. Again, he went online and found a Christian website aimed at the Arab world. He decided to be bold and put into words what he had felt for a time now but had never said to anyone in person: “I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Can I visit you? Please take me to a church and give me a Bible.”

His message ended up with a Christian social media team in the Middle East. Each day, the teams respond to questions and responses from visitors on Christian social media pages, some of them supported by Open Doors. They invited Mohammed to their country.

Finally, he attended his first-ever church service.

“I felt my heart being filled with joy,” he says.

That day and the week following, a whole new world opened for Mohammed. He joined every Bible study meeting available, sometimes up to four a day, and talked a lot with the church’s pastors.

After a few days, one of the church leaders asked him: “Mohammed, who is Jesus for you?”

His response couldn’t be clearer: “Jesus is my Savior, my God.”

The pastor continued: “Do you believe He died for your sins at the cross?”

Again, a full confirmation: “Absolutely.”

A few days later, the church leadership baptized Mohammed during a special meeting. In front of a newfound group of friends—brothers and sisters in Christ—he declared with his whole heart be a follower of Christ. The day after, Mohammed returned to Saudi Arabia a newborn Christian, carrying his most precious possession with him—his Bible.

Mohammed now lives as a secret Christian in Saudi Arabia. If the authorities or his family find out about his faith in Christ, his life and his family’s lives could be in danger. Even his wife and children don’t know he has converted. Through social media, the follow-up team of Christians is discipling him.

But he is not alone. Mohammed is part of God’s family now, and no one can take that away from him.

*Representative name and photo used for security reasons

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