Since last year’s Ramadan, 288 individuals have given their lives to Christ while in contact with a member of our response team. This number goes up each day.
This year’s fast, which began two weeks ago, has been the first Ramadan for these new believers. Some, who have been keeping their faith secret, will be fasting. Others who have already taken the bold step of declaring their faith, have now had to decide whether to take part in the fast to keep the peace or to refuse to join in, risking further exclusion.
What would you do?
Mounir and Fadi
Mounir and Fadi are two of our response team members. Both are from a Muslim background and made the decision to leave Islam many years ago. We asked them how they found their first Ramadan and they shared a few insights…
Mounir, originally from Syria, chose not to fast, but neither did he eat in front of other people.
At that time, he didn’t live at home, but whenever he saw his family, they would ask him why he wasn’t fasting. They felt they might be punished because of his actions, but he would assure them they wouldn’t.
Mounir says he was grateful that when he was a new believer, God opened up the door for him to work in the church. This helped him to grow in his faith. You can read more about Mounir’s background in this interview from 2018.
Fadi is from Morocco. He was in college when he became a Christian. He lived with a group of friends who had rebelled and rejected Islam and religion.
A close friend noticed that Fadi wasn’t keeping the fast and asked him if he was an atheist. Fadi took the opportunity to speak about his faith in Christ. His friend had a lot of respect for him after that, because he wasn’t mocking God and religion as the others were.
Fadi says that being a believer from a Muslim background can be very challenging, depending on one’s family, social and political background. Each new convert is aware of the potential consequences of their choice, and may be very fearful about getting caught.
Honouring family, overcoming fear
Fadi shared some more thoughts on what new believers will be going through during Ramadan. He writes:
‘I always knew when to fast and when not to. I was imitating the person who brought me to the Lord. One of the greatest qualities I admired in him was love and respect towards others, regardless of their age, education or gender.
‘I remember when I returned home on weekends during Ramadan. I fasted, not because I feared my parents, but out of respect and love for them, even when they knew I had no reason to observe the fast. I can tell you now that many years later, when I happened to be with my parents during Ramadan, my mom secretly asked my sister to prepare food for me. This was out of respect and love towards me, because I had always honoured them.
‘I think the toughest struggle for a new convert is overcoming the fear of being confronted. But if faith in Christ runs deep in the heart, then there are no worries. This means that the person has considered the cost of following Christ and is convinced it is worth it.’
Some things to pray
Let’s pray for all new believers experiencing Ramadan for the first time since accepting the truth.
- Pray against fear. Pray also against any feelings of shame for those who have been keeping the fast. May they know God’s peace and presence.
- Pray that Ramadan will be a time in which all believers from a Muslim background draw near to God and depend on him more.
- Pray for the families of believers, particularly for healing of relationships and for understanding. May they feel honoured, just as Fadi’s family did. And may they also have an opportunity to know just how loved they are by their Creator, who offers them eternal life through Jesus.
Thank you for your prayers. If you’re interested in praying further, we highly recommend watching the daily Ramadan videos produced by Prayercast.
Please note that names have been changed for security.