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Ibrahim in North Africa

Much of Multiply’s ministry in the Middle East and North Africa is subject to restricted communication, and yet we have many fruitful partnerships with local ministries and church planting networks. The following story is evidence of both the power of the Gospel and the challenges of serving in this region. As usual, names have been changed for privacy and security reasons.  

Ibrahim grew up as a devout Muslim in North Africa. He was very serious about the apologetics of his faith. His reputation as a scholar led him to be invited to teach on a weekly basis at the mosque, and he spent considerable time in research, study and preparation for each opportunity to speak.

One week, it fell on him to teach about the
Prophet Issa. Ibrahim knew that Issa was a controversial figure, so he was keen to research
his subject thoroughly.

As he searched for resources, Ibrahim was dismayed by how little was written about this prophet by other Muslims. He decided to look beyond the books that were available to him, and began to read books written by the followers of Issa: the Christians. Ibrahim was amazed as he read about this prophet, a man that Christians not only followed as Messiah, but worshiped as God. Issa, whom they called Jesus, was even more controversial than Ibrahim had first realized.

He read many, many books, and had more and more questions. When Ibrahim decided to watch a Christian satellite TV broadcast available in his region, he knew he was crossing a line, but he quickly justified it as doing due diligence as an academic. So, when he saw that the program had an option to call in, he dialed the number ready for a debate. Instead, he found himself drawn into conversations not only about faith, but about his own life. The people he spoke with invited him to continue these conversations, and Ibrahim called back repeatedly. It was all in the name of research. At least, at first.

In time, Ibrahim felt the shift in his heart. He was moving from researching Jesus to following him. It became clear that this prophet was so much more than a prophet, and so Ibrahim decided to declare that Issa had become his Lord and Savior.

The response from his Muslim community was hostile. Yet even in the face of death threats, Ibrahim stood his ground. Others noticed his unusual courage, including his own son, who also decided to become a follower of Jesus and was promptly sent to prison, to suffer for his faith.

Despite the opposition, Ibrahim has no regrets, but holds fast to his integrity and to his decision. When challenged, he simply invites others to do their research and to see for themselves.

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