“I will give you 15 days to decide to abandon your Christian faith. If you choose not to, you will no longer be considered my daughter and will no longer be part of the family.” The words of her father felt like the blow of a hammer to Nedjma*, who had always had a good relationship with him and the rest of her family. “There will be no contact between us,” her father said.
Nedjma has been a Christian for more than 10 years, but she was a secret believer. She kept her conversion from her family, knowing that she could lose her father and the rest of her relatives because of her father’s radical Islamic beliefs.
Nedjma’s father discovered her faith when he recently visited her and her Christian husband, Rafik. From the beginning of their marriage, Nedjma and Rafik had always managed to be evasive in conversations with her father and family about religion. But on this occasion, he asked his son-in-law to pray the Islamic prayer with him.
Rafik says: “Because he was insisting that we pray the Muslim prayer, I had to tell him that as a Christian I pray in the way Jesus taught in the Gospel. Then he turned to his daughter and asked: ‘And you? Are you also a Christian?’ My wife responded that she was. His face changed colour and anger burned in his eyes.” He then left the house.
Two days later, he visited them again. “He explained to us that in Islam an apostate deserves to be killed if he or she does not return to Islam. He did not threaten to kill us, but he made clear that he wanted us to renounce our Christian faith,” continues Rafik. “He gave my wife a period of 15 days to make the decision to turn her back on her Christian faith.”
Although they know the incredible sorrow and pain it will cost them, Rafik and Nedjma have decided to remain faithful to Christ. “This is particularly difficult for my wife, being disowned by her father and no longer having any contact with him. Only a miraculous intervention by the Lord could change this. We have chosen to follow Christ who saved us and gave us life. We love Jesus and want to remain faithful to Him,” Rafik says.
Nedjma adds: “We pray for my father, that the Lord might open his eyes and that he will be touched by the grace of God and will convert to Christ too.”
In cooperation with local partners and churches, Open Doors is supporting believers from Muslim backgrounds in North Africa and the Middle East through discipleship training, literature distribution, and trauma care, amongst other projects.
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.