WHY PERSECUTION AND MARTYRDOM?


STANDING STRONG THROUGH THE STORM

WHY PERSECUTION AND MARTYRDOM?
==============================
…in fact, the time is coming
when anyone who kills you will think they are
offering a service to God. John
16:2b

Today we begin a two-part look at the testimony of a terrorist
persecutor
named Maulana who ultimately gave his life to Christ and became a Christian
missionary:

I was born in a Muslim family in a small town of
Demak, central Java,
Indonesia. My family was very strict in following
Islamic Sharia laws. As a
Muslim, I read a lot of the Koran, Hadits, the
sayings of the prophet
Mohammed, and all the other books that help me be a
devoted Muslim.

I started to learn about a famous international Muslim
named Ayatollah Komeini
from Iran. I welcome Ayatollah Khomeini’s ideas and
his call to revolution to
all Muslims because it will be very nice to have
Islamic Sharia law applied in
our society. That would arrange all ways of
life in this country according to
the truth of the Koran. I don’t like the
West because their lifestyle has
affected the Eastern lifestyle, young people
dress like those in the West,
which is so far from Islamic propriety. I hate
that.

And this has also caused me to hate tourists who come to Indonesia.
They bring
Western lifestyle and can’t be a role model for us in Islam. I see
Christians
as hindering Sharia teaching in Indonesia. Indonesia must be
cleansed from the
cross. It’s a must! Sharia must happen in civil society.
The Christians
worship Jesus, who is merely a man. For us this is sin, and we
must stop this
movement through churches.

The Indonesian government is
committed to freedom of religion, as stated in
our national constitution. But
for Muslims this is not good. It will not bring
any good to the country’s
future. Because we do not get support from the
government, we take law into
our own hands. We attack churches; we shoot
pastors while they are preaching
to cause fear. We do it because the
government does not back us up, so we do
it by ourselves. We do not fear death
because we were encouraged by Ayatollah
Ruholla Khomeini to spill our blood to
the last drop to make this
happen.

Remember the bombing in Bali? That was a combined expression of
our
frustration and our goal. Calling us terrorists is a big mistake,
because
we’re just Muslim God lovers.

The government supports Eastern
Indonesia and the islands to be Christian, and
is actually hindering us from
teaching or implementing Sharia law there. So we
devised secret plans to
bring about Sharia law in Eastern Indonesia. I was one
of the first 5,000
soldiers sent from east Java on a ship to the island of
Ambon. En route from
Surabaya to Ambon, we hijacked the ship in Solo. We
searched the ship and
checked each passenger’s identity. Anyone with a
Christian ID was either
killed or thrown into the ocean. And together our
group took over the ship
and headed for Ambon Island to eliminate the church
of Jesus
Christ.

Tomorrow the change that comes to Maulana’s life when he meets
Jesus.

RESPONSE: Today I understand that it is Jesus in me which prompts
persecution
and martyrdom.

PRAYER: Pray for Christians in conflict
zones like Indonesia who risk their
lives living for Jesus.

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