by Tom White
The Voice of the Martyrs
Saleema grew up in a Christian family in Pakistan. To her, faith in Jesus Christ is a part of everyday life and often comes with great costs. Saleema knows the dangers of sharing her faith in the Muslim stronghold of Pakistan, but like thousands of other Christians, that does not prevent her from being a living witness of her Lord and Savior.
Last year, Saleema gave a bible to a friend of hers who was also a Muslim. This Muslim friend was so impressed by what she read that she immediately fell in love with Christ. She longed to know more about Jesus, and on Good Friday, she found the courage to attend a Chritsian church.
It was on this day that Saleema's friend heard, for the first time, of the crucifixion, the atonement, and the resurrection of Jesus. She had read about Jesus in the Koran, but the Islamic Holy Book failed to mention his crucifixion and atonement for sin. That morning before returning home she gave her life to Jesus Christ.
Her parents were very disturbed by the news. According to Islamic law, their daughter was guilty of blasphemy against the prophet Mohammed. Saleema's friend was beaten, kicked and tortured by her parents. However, she would not deny Christ. In fact, the more she suffered for Jesus, the more she loved Him.
Her parents continued the persecution and decided it would be best to give their daughter in marriage to a Muslim man. It was at this time that Saleema's friend had no choice but to leave her home and go into hiding.
When the girl's parents discovered that she was missing, they immediately went to Saleema's home believing that she was guilty of hiding their daughter. They demanded to know her whereabouts. Saleema told them that she did not know where their daughter was and that her family had nothing to do with her disappearance.
Saleema, along with her parents, was picked by the Islamic authorities and interrogated for three days. They were beaten, starved, and continually questioned. As part of the torture, Saleema was forced to stand on the tips of her toes for over twelve hours. Each time she came down from this excruciating position, a stick came across her back. Saleema was eventually handed over to the police.
Saleema's pastor was also arrested and placed in the cell with her. The guards removed the prisoner's clothing and attempted to force Saleema and her pastor to commit adultery. When they refused, they were again beaten. The pastor's son was also arrested, hung upside down in a tree, and nearly beaten to death.
Every day and every night Saleema was tortured. Her tormentors inflicted unspeakable wounds both physically and emotionally. Saleema is an attractive young woman, and she was repeatedly violated.
Three weeks after Saleema was handed over to the police, the young Muslim girl who had turned her life over to Jesus, was discovered hiding in a woman's shelter. Her Muslim parents brought her back to her village where she was publicly executed. She was only a Christian for a few months when she learned the meaning of being "faithful unto death."
Saleema has since been charged with the girl's death. The judge found her guilty on two counts, 1> for proselytizing a Muslim girl, and 2> causing the events leading up to the girl's execution. Saleema now faces murder charges, and if found guilty under blasphemy law 295c, will herself be executed.
This tragic story is all too common in Muslim nations like Pakistan, where our family in Christ, our brothers and sisters, are beaten, tortured and even killed for their faith. It is for Saleema and so many others like her, that The Voice of the Martyrs exist. Your brothers and sisters need your prayers. They need your encouragement. They need to know that they are not forgotten, and that we will do everything in our power to help them.
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