A young boy in an Arab country sees Jesus in a dream every time he is abused. Now he is an adult and an illegal refugee for his faith. This is his moving story as told to Miracle Channel:
Let me tell you my story from the beginning. At that time Jesus was completely unknown to me. My life began tragically when my mother divorced my father. I was only six months old, and my father’s new wife burned me badly when she gave me a bath. My father’s third wife would beat and abuse me, and his fourth wife did the same.
Who was my father? He was a coldhearted, hard and mean man without grace. He continually told me that it was a mistake that I was born. He used to hit me like an animal with an electric rod while he kept repeating that I was his biggest mistake. He tortured me for the smallest thing. The first time he kicked me out of our house I was only 8 years old. The Christian family to a friend of mine let me live with them for the next two years, but when my father discovered that I was living with a Christian family he got so angry that he threatened them, and I returned home to him and his fourth wife. They continued to hit me, humiliate me and torture me. They kicked me out of the house for the last time, and then a different family took me in.
In the beginning a person used to come to me in my dreams every time I was beaten. When I lived with the Christian family, I heard the word “Christ” several times, and somehow I felt that he was the one who came and comforted me in my dreams. When I was 19 years old I was run over by a car and taken to the hospital. The only ones that came to visit me was the Christian family that I had lived with. While I stayed with them I got to learn more about Jesus, I was introduced to the church, we read the bible together, and two years later I was baptized.
Right now I am living in a country illegally, I do not have papers and I can’t get work. My father and his wife heard that I had become a Christian and they threatened to kill me unless I returned to my first faith. They sent a person after me who managed to trace my whereabouts. Now he is continually coming to see me to get me to renounce my faith in Jesus.
I have tried to apply for residence permit on the grounds of religious persecution, but I have been denied. I am now living under the threat of being deported back to my own country. But I can’t return for a number of reasons. I have no family that will help me, and I will be killed for my faith.
I wrote you my story to show you that all roads appear to be closed for me. My church cannot help me and I do not want to cause problems for them. I have tried many other churches, but they cannot help either. The threats are increasing and I am also worried about the family that helped me in my own country.
I have accepted Jesus and I am praying for help. Please pray for me. May God bless you and thank you for the encouragement that your television programs and personal follow up are to me. If you can think of any way to help me, please do.
As devasting as this story is, we know that this man is not alone in the persecution of his faith.
A fresh report from Open Doors, a non-denominational group supporting persecuted Christians worldwide, say that twice as many Christians were martyred for their faith around the world in 2013 than 2012.
Open Doors said it had documented 2,123 “martyr” killings, compared with 1,201 in 2012. There were 1,213 such deaths in Syria alone last year, it said.
“This is a very minimal count based on what has been reported in the media and we can confirm,” said Frans Veerman, head of research for Open Doors.
Estimates by other Christian groups put the annual figure as high as 8,000. Christianity is the largest and most widely spread faith in the world, with 2.2 billion followers, or 32 percent of the world population, according to a survey by the U.S.-based Pew Forum on religion and Public Life.
It faces restrictions and hostility in 111 countries, ahead of the 90 countries limiting or harassing the second-largest faith, Islam, another Pew survey has reported.
Michel Varton, head of Open Doors France, told journalists in Strasbourg that failing states with civil wars or persistent internal tensions were often the most dangerous for Christians.
“In Syria, another war is thriving in the shadow of the civil war — the war against the church,” he said while presenting the Open Doors report there.
In the list of killings, Syria was followed by Nigeria with 612 cases last year after 791 in 2012. Pakistan was third with 88, up from 15 in 2012. Egypt ranked fourth with 83 deaths after 19 the previous year.
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