A young mother called “Umida” was killed by her Muslim husband on 9 February (2019). She was trying to flee her homeland, Uzbekistan, because of his threats. But he caught up with her at Tashkent airport, forced her into a car and slit her throat.
A motherless and fatherless toddler
Their two-year-old son must now grow up motherless. The little boy will also be effectively fatherless for many years, as Umida’s husband has been arrested and is likely to serve a long time in jail.
What did Umida do to anger her husband? She got interested in Christianity, started going to church and asked a friend for a Bible in the Uzbek language. This was enough to make him lock her in the house and remove their son. Just before her martyrdom, Umida had made the decision to leave Islam and follow Christ.
A little boy runs crying after his father, who is being dragged to his death
Two days later, on 11 February, father-of-five Anant Ram Gand, was beheaded in India’s Odisha state. He had left his old religion to follow Christ about nine months ago but it was not until he was baptised, just two months ago, that local extremists became really enraged. They reportedly armed and persuaded Maoist Naxalites to carry out the murder.
When three men came to Anant’s home, his wife and daughters (aged 13, 11, 3 and 2) were out, but Purno, his six-year-old son, was at home. The little boy was woken by the shouts and knocking on the door. As the men tied his father’s hands and dragged him away, Purno ran after them, crying. They told the child not to follow, and forced his father into a car, driving off at speed. Later Anant’s head and body were found lying on the middle of a road in broad daylight; his skull had been smashed by a stone before the neck was cut through.
A mother, unaware, carries home death threats to her children
Ugandan Muslim, Umar Mulinde, was training to become a sheikh when he “found truth and love in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God”. His former zeal for Islam was now directed towards leading other Muslims to Christ. On Christmas Eve 2011, as he left church, radical Muslims poured acid over his face. He was horrifically burned and lost one eye, but, after extensive medical treatment, he bravely resumed his ministry. Of course, the Muslim extremists still sought to kill him and his family.
Umar’s wife became very nervous, especially when she went to the market to do her shopping. For she began to find, when she got home and unpacked her basket, that a note had been dropped into it, by someone in the jostling market crowd. The notes were threatening to kill her and their children.
You can help courageous new believers and their children
Hostility, threats and violence are normal for Christians who have converted from other religions. Even if there is no violence, their families usually reject their decision, often throw them out of the home, and cut off all financial support, such as paying school fees. Many find they are fired from their jobs as well. Through Barnabas Fund you can provide:
- Safe places to live in Christian communities who will love and embrace them and their children
- School fees and college fees so young people can continue their studies
- Small business start-up grants so converts can support themselves and their children
- Medical treatment for their injuries
- Discipleship and Bible courses so they can grow in their new Christian faith
- Support for full-time workers ministering to other converts
Will you help welcome them into their new Christian family, and show your love in a practical way? Donate to our Convert Fund now.