Today in England many former Muslims are living in hiding, fearing for their very lives. They've fled Islamic communities from all over the world seeking refuge but finding only terror… even in England.
The Christian Century online has the story of one young Pakistani man that is particularly disturbing.
A teenager who had converted from Islam to Christianity in Pakistan was attacked in the street by a group of Muslims who were angry that he had converted. They stabbed him in the chest and left him bleeding in the gutter, thinking death would take him. Fortunately for the young man, he survived. He ran away from Pakistan, fleeing to what he thought would be safety in England… but his tormenters found him there as well.
He had a "chance" run-in with an Anglican priest who was able to direct him to a temporary home that was established for Muslim converts who were forced to live in hiding.
The young man says, "I can't tell you where I live—not the town, not even which part of the country. I want friends but am nervous about forming friendships in case, at a moment's notice, I have to move house again."
The British nonprofit group Christian Concern has set up many of these temporary safe houses for terrified former Muslims, dozens of whom now live in fear scattered across England.
Another convert who lives in England, Mohammad Fiaz, says that when he converted everyone he knew cut him off from his old life. Converts, women in particular, face huge difficulty upon leaving Islam. Their families and friends cut them off and the society that they were raised in no longer wants anything to do with them. Simply surviving becomes very difficult.
"They'd rather see me dead… Today, we face the same sort of problem that gay men and women faced some time ago. That is why we welcome the initiative of Christian Concern, which is helping converts rebuild their lives in 'safe' homes owned or rented by members of the Christian community."
Shokit Ali Sadiq is a 46-year old father of five who knows the painful travails of leaving Islam.
"There are hundreds of people out there who want to leave Islam. But they're frightened of making their desire known… One day in the mosque I prayed to Isa, Jesus in the Quran, and asked him to send me a woman who really loved me. Soon afterwards, I was offered a job in (the British territory of) Jersey where I met my wife to be, Carla, a Roman Catholic from Portugal. . . . When I converted to Christianity, I was beaten by men with baseball bats. I was in a coma for several days but today I am all right and Jesus is now using me to convert Muslims to Christianity."
Andrea Williams, the leader of Christian Concern, explains why her group is needed, even in England.
"The penalty for converts at best is to be cut off from their family; at worst they face death. This is happening not just in Sudan and Nigeria but in East London. The government has failed to deal with the rise in anti-Christian sentiment."
Christians all over the world are being persecuted for their faith. It's not just in North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia… it's everywhere. It is time to stand and be counted. It is time to join in the fight and help save our brothers and sisters.
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