A man who was trained as a child soldier to attack Christians shared what led him to the Bible and Jesus, despite threats to his life.
Christian broadcaster SAT-7 shared the story of the man, identified only as 24-year-old Jahan, in an article on Thursday, noting that he was born in Afghanistan.
“I was young and loved rifles, and all I heard was about killing this person and that person because we were told they were no good, attacking infidels and those who had become Christians,” Jahan recalled.
“We were told we have to go to war against them. One day, my father was asleep, and I ran away. I worked and earned 20 rupees a day, and with hardship, I managed to get to Iran.”
Smugglers helped him through a perilous journey over fields and mountains, until he finally reached Iran at the age of 15, and became a builder’s apprentice.
“I experienced much hardship to be able to have light in my life. I got to read His book and found Him. One of my friends was a Christian and told me all about his faith over the phone,” he said.
“When I read the Bible, I understood that what I had been taught is very different. Someone who reads the Bible can go to his God and solve his problems.”
Jahan declared that he is now in a happy place as a Christian, but is sad for his father and mother, who are still living a radicalized life.
“They don’t answer my calls and I know if they found me, they would kill me. Even here, I am in danger. To my father, I hope you live a long and healthy life. I am your child, but I don’t want to live in a dark world,” he said.
Persecution watchdog group Open Doors USA ranks Afghanistan as the second worst country in the world for Christians, behind only North Korea.
"Because all Christians in Afghanistan are essentially converts, they are unable to express their faith, even in private. In many cases, upon being discovered, these converts are considered insane for leaving Islam. If they cannot be convinced to return to their former faith, they are sometimes committed to psychiatric institutions," the group explains on its website of the suffering that Christians face.
"Others experience loss of personal property and businesses, beatings and even death at the hands of their own family members and communities. Knowing this, believers risk everything when telling others about Christ, also endangering those they witness to. Afghanistan Christian persecution is a tragic tale that is both old and new and seemingly not going anywhere."
Islamic extremism is a problem in the country. The Islamic State terror group, and other terrorist factions, have for years been at war with government soldiers. Back in November, IS fighters killed 27 soldiers at a mosque at an Afghan army base, wounding another 44.
Terror groups have stepped up their deadly attacks in the past couple of months, AFP noted, aiming to spread their influence in the country.
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