Date: August 23, 2019
USA (MNN) — For years Mission Network News has covered blasphemy charges, the need for religious freedom, and how blasphemy charges can undo a life. But, one of the most memorable stories has been the journey of Ahmed, a believer living in Pakistan. Bruce Allen, with FMI, provides a recap.
“October of 2017, this highly influential and strategically placed ministry leader inside Pakistan was falsely charged with blasphemy, which in Pakistan is a capital offense. Had he been convicted of those charges, even though they were false, he could have been executed.”
Islamic religious edicts, called fatwas, are still in place calling for Ahmed’s death. Anyone who acts under these fatwas acts with impunity. Ahmed is legally cleared of the blasphemy charges, but his life remains in danger. However, earlier this month Ahmed and his family landed in the United States for a temporary relocation. The purpose for Ahmed and his family’s relocation is to give time for those hunting him in Pakistan to lose interest in his situation.
Still, this relocation takes resources and provides some large cultural shifts. Ahmed and his family are setting up a new household. Will you help? Give to FMI’s Ministry Liaison Support or Ministry Liaison Gift Cards to help Ahmed and his family with the financial costs of calling the U.S. home. To give, click here.
However, financial costs are not the only challenges Ahmed and his family are facing. Adjusting to a culture starkly different from the one they have spent their whole lives in is another hurdle. (Learn about the difference between Pakistan and the U.S. here.)
Plus, while there is food available in the U.S., finding foods similar to what Ahmed and his family eat in Pakistan is challenging. In a sense, without similar foods, this family has to relearn how to cook unfamiliar and foreign dishes.
Ahmed and Family Safe
As for the transition, there are good things, too, like safety.
“I saw a piece on my wife’s face after more than two years. That was really encouraging and good for me as well, because she was always worried about me when I’m traveling. I was traveling in Pakistan or different places in Pakistan. She was really very worried for the kids as well. So, I’m very thankful to God [that] he brought us here. Even for a couple of years,” Ahmed says.
While in the U.S., Ahmed will work with FMI as a U.S. employee. He is available to speak to churches about his story and will continue focusing on strategically fortifying the ministry work in Pakistan. Ultimately, Ahmed and his family plan to return to Pakistan. Ahmed says Pakistan is his home, it is where his grave is.
Want to invite Ahmed to your church? Then email FMI here.
Will you pray?
Please, if you would, pray for Ahmed and his family.
“There [are a] few points you can pray for me and for my family. The first thing…still helping or empowering my people in Pakistan, my Christian brothers and sisters. Because I left Pakistan, but still Pakistan [is] inside me. And then, you can pray for my family. My children, they go to a Christian school here in [the] U.S. [Pray for] my wife, [that] she can find some Pakistani food or Indian food she can cook in the kitchen,” Ahmed asks.
Finally, despite the tumultuous journey Ahmed and his family have experienced, their story is not one of despair.
“It’s really a story about God’s victory in the midst of persecution. And that’s what we want to focus on,” Allen explains.
To continue supporting FMI’s work in Pakistan, click here.
*Name changed for security purposes.