This article comes from Pastor Tim, a friend of mine who pastors a church in Missouri. Speaking from the viewpoint of someone who has been to Pakistan twice, I believe every word in this story.
My Friend Hunted by Muslims
Maliq (not his real name) was born and raised as a Muslim in Pakistan. This last weekend he visited my personal family and my church family. We learned a great deal from the story he shared with us.
Maliq was forced to study the Qur’an as a young boy. His instructor would repeatedly bruise him with a stick until he learned the Arabic verses correctly. He grew up believing in Islam but never had peace in his heart.
Eventually he became a military officer, a highly regarded position in Pakistan. Even with this success, including personal servants, he was full of anger and bitterness.
At age 25 everything changed for Maliq. He audibly heard the voice of Jesus speak to him. Soon afterwards he saw Jesus in a vision. He was later to discover that many Muslims have heard or seen Jesus.
After realizing that Jesus was much more than the Qur’an had to say, Maliq became a dedicated Christian. His life was threatened because Islam calls for the death of anyone leaving Islam.
He fled to a Christian village. According to Maliq, Christians in Pakistan must live in segregated communities and can only hold the most menial jobs. After two years, Maliq married a Christian woman and they had two children.
In the late 90’s, while the children were still very young, the local Muslim population rose up against the Christians. A rumor was spread that the Christians were tearing apart Qur’ans and speaking against Mohammed. The rumors were not true but they instigated a huge mob to attack his village.
Maliq remembers the day of the attack vividly. All 500 homes in his village were burned, men beaten, women raped and kidnapped, and everything destroyed. Incredibly, the very next Sunday, 20,000 Christians gathered in his village to worship Jesus.
The authorities turned a blind eye to the incident, but some Christians in another city went to the streets to protest. The government demanded from the protesters the names of the people they had found out about the incident from. Maliq’s name was one of the names given.
From then on Maliq has been under threat of death from his own government. He miraculously fled with his family from Pakistan and now lives in the U.S. He still receives death threats and his own parents in Pakistan are constantly being watched and threatened. I want to thank Maliq for his personal courage, his willingness to share his story, and the labor of love he still carries on for the persecuted church of Pakistan.
[Comment to this article at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
By Pastor Tim O’Brien
Rock of Ages Church and Ministries
For Daily Guide Publication, December 15, 2006