Illegal Baptisms in Egypt

Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, which ended on June 14th, is a difficult time for former Muslims who have become followers of Christ. Meeting up with family and the community many times during this significant Islamic practice puts them into difficult situations, all the more so in marriages where one partner has come to faith in Christ but the other has not or is not aware of their partner’s conversion.

This is the case with Aisha*, a married woman with children. She and her family live in Egypt. When Aisha was a child she had a good friend, Marta, who was a Christian. Marta was kind and good and so naturally Aisha wanted her to become a Muslim too. Through the years she had tried to convert Marta to Islam, but the problem was that Marta asked her many questions about Islam for which Aisha just couldn’t give substantial answers.

Marta’s questions became Aisha’s search for answers. Aisha set herself to study diligently and research carefully. But eventually, after many years, she came to a disarming conclusion: Islam is a man-made religion. She couldn’t follow it anymore because she didn’t believe in it anymore.

Aisha had to guard this conclusion carefully lest her husband discover her lack of faith in Islam, which would cause shame to all her family, arguments, and very possible divorce from her husband. She did however confide her disbelief in Islam with her eldest daughter, Saadiya*, who was a teenager. Saadiya also began to wonder why she was so beholden to Islam. She posed a question to her religious teacher at school about the freedom to choose to believe or not believe Islam, to which he answered: “Islam allows no freedom of choice. Choosing to disbelieve hurts your family and your country.” His answer made her feel imprisoned.

Together both mother and daughter decided to look into the faith of Aisha’s childhood Christian friend. They went online to Facebook and there, Aisha and Saadiya met up with many Arab Christians. Among them were some of our ministry partners in Egypt. They introduced Aisha and Saadiya to our Online Arabic Church and it was through regular contact with this fellowship that Aisha eventually believed the gospel of Christ and became a Christian, followed by her daughter about four months later. Three weeks ago, quietly and secretly, an Egyptian pastor prepared the baptismal tank at his Church. Discretion was paramount: there was no public service, no talk of it from the pulpit, no cards or gifts. In Egypt, Christians are not allowed to let Muslims attend their churches and they are forbidden to provide baptism to them.

Born-a-Muslim, always-a-Muslim is enforced by Egyptian law. For this reason, very few churches have the courage to obey Jesus’s command to make disciples among Muslims or to baptize them. So only a few people gathered around that morning. Aisha and Saadiya were there and a few of our online mentors were also there to lend encouragement and support. Together, mother and daughter were baptized, declaring together their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

Testifying a few days later to us, Aisha said: “I’m not young anymore, but I sense I am born again!” Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:3)

Please would you pray for Aisha and Saadiya? Pray also for all those who though guilty of apostasy within the deception of Islam, have been liberated into the freedom of children of God in Christ! Pray that many, many more people all over the Muslim world with come to know the Savior.

*Name changed for privacy.

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