A Muslim woman in a Middle Eastern country ordered that her son be beaten nearly to death because he converted to Christianity.
Christian Aid Mission, which supports ministries around the world that are helping believers in dangerous places, recently reported that Abdel, as the young man is called (not his real name), has remained committed to his faith despite the attacks on his life.
Abdel's mother was distraught when she learned that he had decided to leave Islam and convert to Christianity, even though he knew he would be shunned by his family.
He had been unable to find work in his home country (also not named) and had been relying on his parents to pay for his apartment and other living expenses. Following his conversion, his mother came to him with a checkbook in one hand, and a burial linen shroud in the other.
"You must choose between the two," his mother told him.
Despite knowing that his mother was capable of anything, the young Christian replied: "I want to live for Christ and die for Him, no matter what the price will be."
His mother left, warning that he will "pay the price" for his decision. Abdel was kidnapped by a Muslim gang two months later and beaten nearly to the point of death, with cigarettes burned to his body.
Though Abdel survived, he has been subjected to further financial difficulties from his mother, who has sent people to collect money from him that he says he doesn't owe.
Still, Abdel has maintained his Christian faith, and has been encouraging others to turn to Jesus.
Christians in different parts of the world have faced intense attacks from within their own families for their decision to convert, and not only in Muslim-majority nations.
In 2017, Open Doors USA shared the story of a 20-something-year-old Christian by the name of Cheu in the Buddhist-majority nation of Laos who was severely beaten by members of his own family.
"One day, my brother and uncle came to me and lied to me. They invited me to go to their house which I agreed to without hesitation. Little did I know that when we arrived at my uncle's house, they would beat me and tie me up with a rope. They told me that I need to return to my old faith, they would continue to beat me," Cheu recalled.
"They bound me with a rope with my hands behind my back. My brother, an average-sized man but with a solid build, used the side of his palms to hit my neck and face over and over again. I was tied from seven in the morning until seven at night."