His family often referred to Christians as “infidels,” a despicable word used for those who do not follow Islam. But this only led to more questions for Adel: Why did Christians follow Jesus and claim He is God? He wanted to seek out and find his own answers.
One night, he prayed, “Oh Allah, I am like Abraham. I want to worship you alone. Please reveal yourself to me, or I will no longer pray to you from now onward. If you don’t show me, I will go astray.” After praying, his desire for Christ to fill the God-sized hole in his heart would only grow.
While out with his friends, he felt a deep need for Jesus. Adel told his friends how he had been searching for the truth of Christianity. A friend gave him a copy of the Bible in English, but not being able to speak or read the language, the Bible didn’t help Adel much. Another friend suggested he find a pastor in Sudan to speak with. Adel did just that.
The pastor he met with answered Adel’s questions and gave him an Arabic Bible. Adel consumed the gospels and was inspired by the words of Jesus and His ultimate sacrifice. By reading, he discovered a God of love—a God that commands Christians to love one another, not hate. Moved to tears, Adel surrendered his life to Jesus. A decision that would bring with it extreme persecution.
Adel’s family quickly found out about his new faith. During a Muslim festival, they locked Adel in a room and threatened to kill him if he did not renounce his new faith and return to Islam. “I was terrified they would kill me,” Adel says. While locked in the room, he prayed, “God, encourage me, because I am terribly afraid.” After he prayed, he felt full of courage and defended his new faith.
“I am not an infidel like you say. I know the truth and follow it,” Adel told them. His family eventually let Adel out, but many disowned him.
Following his family’s lead, many of his friends who he lived with abandoned him, also. They said to him, “You should leave this house because you no longer belong to us. You have become an infidel.”
Adel was left completely alone. But he wouldn’t abandon his new faith for anything.
Galatians 2:20 has come to mean so much to Adel. It says, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Persecution did not break Adel—it only made his faith stronger. He’s continued to share about Jesus with his Muslim friends, leading some to accept Christ into their hearts. Seeing his friends adopt a new faith has also led Adel to plant an underground church. His church has been a refuge for other persecuted Sudanese Christians, as well as a place where Muslims can come, ask questions and find a new faith.
Adel’s story is a beautiful illustration of how God can take what the enemy meant for evil and use it for good. Will you take a moment and join us in praying for Adel and his growing ministry?
God, we come before You on behalf of our persecuted brother. He’s followed You and You continue to work in his life—You are bringing numbers to You because of Adel’s persecution and we are grateful.
We know Adel has plans to find a permanent home and a better job to support himself. We ask You answer his prayers. If it is Your will, show up in his life and provide him with a house, as well as a job that can generate the income he needs to support himself, his church and the plans You’ve placed in his heart.
You have been working in incredible ways in Adel’s life. We can’t wait to see how You continue to work. Amen.
Check back on our blog as this is the second story of three-part series where we hear from former Muslims in Sudan. In our next blog, we’ll hear from Elbager, a persecuted Sudanese Christian whose family not only disowned him, but acted aggressively to take his life.
About the author
Tim Dustin is a staff writer and editor for Global Christian Relief. He works to share stories of Christian persecution with the West and the rest of the world. Learn about Christian persecution on our website and read the latest stories at GlobalChristianRelief.org.