In 1992, Naeem Fazal, a recent immigrant from Kuwait of Pakistani descent, encountered Jesus in his brother's apartment just weeks after arriving in the United States. Fazal, who grew up Muslim and who once threatened to kill his brother after the elder sibling converted to Christianity, spoke recently with The Christian Post about his terrifying conversion story, Kuwait's "caste" system, and his family's passion for CrossFit. An overview of the book is available here and the second part of this interview will be posted on Thursday.
Fazal and his wife Ashley are parents to a son and daughter and currently live in Charlotte, North Carolina where he pastors Mosaic Church.
CP: What was it like growing up in Kuwait? more >>
The government of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, fell overnight to the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, also called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Mosul's panic-stricken Christians, along with many others, are now fleeing en masse to the rural Nineveh Plain, according to the Vatican publication Fides. The border crossings into Kurdistan, too, are jammed with the cars of the estimated 150,000 desperate escapees.
The population, particularly its Christian community, has much to fear. The ruthlessness of ISIS, an offshoot of al-Qaeda, has been legendary. Its beheadings, crucifixions and other atrocities toward Christians and everyone else who fails to conform to its vision of a caliphate have been on full display earlier this year, in Syria.
As Christian Post readers will remember, in February, it was the militants of this rebel group that, in the northern Syrian state of Raqqa, compelled Christian leaders to sign a 7th-century dhimmi contract. The document sets forth specific terms denying the Christians the basic civil rights of equality and religious freedom and committing them to pay protection money in exchange for their lives and the ability to keep their Christian identity. more >>
Just three weeks after arriving in the United States from Kuwait, Naeem Fazal was at his brother's house one particular evening, ready to get some sleep.
Fazal, who was still a Muslim when he relocated to South Carolina following the devastating Gulf War, returned that night from attending a campus ministry event with his Christian brother. He was about to experience one of the most terrifying experiences of his life.
"As I was [turning the light out] that something grabbed me from my shoulders and dragged me and pinned me to my pillow," Fazal told The Christian Post. "I was just flipping out, like what is going on?" more >>
Following bombings which killed more than 100 Nigerians in late May, Christian groups have reached out to Muslims in an effort to reconcile the estranged communities.
The Rev. Gideon Para-Mallam, regional secretary of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students, told World Watch Monitor that some in the Christian community had reached out to their fellow Muslims, whom they recognized were also likely grieving loved ones.
''We resolved to go to our respective areas and try to stop anybody from organizing revenge actions as a result of the bomb blast. We resolved to encourage people to live in peace, and to show sympathy with those who have lost their loved ones, and support them in whatever ways we can rather than [harboring] anger, revenge and bitterness,'' he said. more >>
Evidence has again emerged indicting that if Western mainstream media actually reported more on the sufferings of Christians throughout the Islamic world, their lot would likely improve.
Meriam Ibrahim, a woman who is imprisoned in Sudan and sentenced to death on the charge that she apostatized from Islam and converted to Christianity-and who recently gave birth to a baby girl in prison-was reportedly going to "be freed in a few days," according to a BBC report:
Abdullahi Alzareg, an under-secretary at the foreign ministry, said Sudan guaranteed religious freedom and was committed to protecting the woman. Khartoum has been facing international condemnation over the death sentence. more >>
An 18-year-old Pakistani woman survived being shot twice and thrown in a canal by her family in an attempted honor killing for marrying the man that she loved.
"It is an honor-related incident," local police chief Ali Akbar told Reuters.
"The victim, Saba [Maqsood] ... married her neighbor Muhammad Qaiser for love five days ago against the wishes of her family. They took her to Hafizabad, shot her twice and threw her in the canal after putting her in a sack, presuming that she was dead." more >>