Mushir, a man in his sixties from the Middle East, was once an extremely devout Muslim, and did everything required by the ‘law of the prophet’. “But I desired more,” he says. “I felt very empty and distant from the God I prayed to every day.”
One year, during Ramadan, Mushir was fasting and praying. He was in a room in his home, crying out to God and asking to really know Him. Suddenly a picture fell from the wall and smashed into pieces. It was an old picture with a traditional painting that had been on the wall for years – but behind the original was a picture of Jesus Christ on the cross.
“I was speechless, shocked, and in my heart I knew this was the answer to what I asked for,” Mushir says. “I knew that I had found God. God had shown me who He was – Jesus Christ was His answer.”
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar, and begins on 7 June this year. For 30 days, all healthy adult Muslims will be expected to fast during daylight hours, and many Muslims become more devout during this period, sincerely seeking answers from God. Stories like Mushir’s are often reported during Ramadan – and we hope and pray for many more ‘Mushirs’ this year.
And it’s not only during Ramadan that Muslims are finding Jesus. “Never before have so many come to Christ from Islam,” says Andreas*, Open Doors’ Middle East Director.
But deciding to follow Jesus is just the beginning for believers from Muslim backgrounds. In parts of the Middle East and North Africa, new believers may face attack and rejection from their families and communities, arrest by the state, and even death if their faith is discovered. Many believers keep their faith a complete secret – but struggle with loneliness and slow spiritual growth without the support of other believers.
When Open Doors partners met Mushir, he had been following Jesus secretly for 24 years. Our partners began providing him with discipleship training, and a year later he said: “In one year I have learned more than during the previous 24 years of being a Christian.”
*name changed for security reasons
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.