Missionary To America Mohamad Faridi
According to an online article on the Wycliffe Bible Translators website, sixteen thousand Muslims come to Christ every day. The article gives astounding figures regarding conversion of Muslims to Christianity from several Muslim nations: 1 million Egyptians have come to faith in Jesus in the past decade; the largest Christian congregation in the Middle East meets in “an enormous cave on the outskirts of Cairo, where 10,000 Christian believers worship every weekend.” Thousands of Muslims in Iraq have converted since Saddam was overthrown. More than one million Sudanese have converted to Christianity since 2,000 AD. The article quotes Muslim Sheikh Ahamad al Qataani telling Aljazeera television, “Every year six million Muslims convert to Christianity. A tragedy has happened.”
Even though the article shared information about Christian conversions in several Middle East Muslim countries, one was conspicuously absent: Iran, where Mohamad Faridi was brought up. Like St. Paul, Acts 22:3, he was as zealous for his former faith as anyone could be. As part of a Shiite ceremony, at one point he beat himself for nine days, with chains. On the tenth day, when he tried to continue, he collapsed.
Mohamad joined Iran’s Revolutionary Army when he was eighteen years old. He chose to experience what it might feel like to be a martyr when challenged to lie down in an open grave. He was as committed as any Iranian militant to war against “enemies of Islam.” Israel and America headed the list. And then everything changed. What once seemed impossible, happened.
Mohamad heard the gospel from a friend in Iran, the good news that a God of love became present in this world to show His concern for His creation. Up to now the only god Mohamad has known was a god of anger; a god who required all to submit to him. Mohamad knew he would never be able to please this god, no matter how many beatings he inflicted on himself. He knew he was on a “path to destruction.” His friend shared a precious New Testament with Mohamad.
Back home, alone in his bedroom, he read the New Testament, and he prayed. The more he prayed, and the more he read Jesus’ words, the more the love of the Heavenly Father poured into his soul. Mohamad remembers feeling a peace and a love he had never experienced before, cascading over him. When he finally told his family he had become a Christian, as they say, “all hell broke loose.” His father beat him and said, “leave this house – you are no longer my son.” Kicked out of his family, he found refuge in another family, the family of God, the Iranian underground church.
Mohamad spent months, going from house to house, meeting warm, loving believers in Jesus. He was also in constant danger. Eventually he was able to escape to Turkey, but even there, with a name like “Mohamad,” being a Christian put him at risk. With the help of the United Nations he was brought to America. Now, he wants all Muslims to know the peace he found.
On the video interview I conducted with Mohamad, he says: “When you look at my life, I was a hard core, fanatical Muslim. If no one spoke up, and spoke the gospel to me, what would have happened to me? These people are reachable.”
To learn more about Mohamad Faridi and Destination Ministries, and to receive a free copy of Mohamad’s book, Forsaking My Father’s Religion, go to his website, DNMI.org