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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

My experience with the "religion of peace," while living in Pakistan.

I recently had a powerful experience during a SKYPE with a family of Christian refugees who had fled Pakistan 2 years ago to escape being murdered by Muslims. Samira ( her real name being withheld for security reasons) tearfully shared a painful story of persecution and forced marriage that happened to her when she was just 13. I knew right away that I had to share her incredible story in order to educate Christians in the west who lead comfortable

and peaceful lives without the death threats and persecution that Samira has experienced.
Samira and her family are living in an undisclosed country, awaiting an interview with THE UNHCR so they can one day live in a safer country without fear .
 I have edited and improved on the text of what Samira sent me, but most everything else is in Samira's own words as she described it to me during our SKYPE. I deliberately entitled Islam as,"the religion of peace," in a sarcastic way in order to prove a point that some Muslims are not living up to their claim.

 My name is Samira. For many years, my family lived at peace in Pakistan at our church, where we reached out to the broken and hurting people...But one day, everything changed!
  My father is a Pastor and my Aunt  was a teacher at a Muslim school. One day, a Muslim Imam approached my Aunt with a frightening proposal. He insisted that she marry him and demanded that she and her whole family convert to Islam. Immediately my Aunt refused, declaring that she was a Christian and intended to stay that way. The Imam refused to take no for an answer and continued to demand that she become his wife, threatening to kill her and her whole family unless she agreed!
Fearing for her life, my Aunt complained about the Imam to the principal. However the principal was reluctant to take her case because of the Imam's reputation as a Muslim scholar in the city. Terrified and unsure what to do next, my Aunt left the school, but The Imam and a group of other Muslims followed her to her house where her grandmother lived. They forced their way into the house and began to beat her and her grandmother threatening to kill them if they didn't convert to Islam. In a moment of great fear and weakness, my grandmother fell down at the feet of the Imam, begging for mercy and promising to to marry and convert to Islam. The Imam gave her an ultimatum and said he would be back soon to take her aunt as his wife.
Immediately my Aunt and Grandmother ran to my Father's church to hide, but in a few days, The Imam and the group of Muslims returned and this time severely beat my father.
 I was scared to death. I couldn't take another day of watching my family being beaten by these Muslims, so my Father decided to take us to Karachi, hoping to escape anymore persecution. However, they managed to follow us to Karachi and once again threatened my father accusing him of Insulting the Prophet and threatening to have us arrested and killed. Many times in Pakistan, Muslims use the "Blasphemy Law"  against Christians because they know that the government will have them executed. In most every case, Christians are not guilty of insulting the prophet, but because of the pressure put on them by Muslims to enforce the law, they are arrested and put to death.
I love my country. I don't want to live in fear and persecution for the rest of my life. My prayer to the Lord is to one day return to Pakistan and help the poor starving Christians. Most of them don't have the money to go to school and instead they are forced to become brick makers in order to survive. For more than 14 hours a day they will be a slave in the hot sun, making bricks in order to earn money to buy food. I don't understand why other Christians won't help us. We are suffering and desperately need food and money to survive.
I told the Lord that my heart's desire is to become a missionary to help these young brick making children and teach them about Jesus. I want to live for his glory because he has saved me and my family and has given us a new life. Please pray for me and my family that God will protect us so that one day I can return to Pakistan to serve him!