Pastor Murat lives in a Muslim-dominated area in one of the most dangerous parts of Central Asia. Many of Pastor Murat’s neighbours aren’t merely Muslims, they’re extremists.
“An unofficial report states that more than 400 people from my area have joined the Islamic State,” he said. “But many other extremists who aren’t part of the Islamic State also live in my area.”
Pastor Murat must be very careful to conceal his faith. “If my faith is discovered, I will be killed,” he shared. “So I take precautions. I pray five times a day like Muslims do. I know a lot about the Muslim faith so I don’t stand out.”
But even with all his precautions, there have been times when Pastor Murat’s faith was discovered.
“An angry man came to my door and told me he was going to behead me,” he shared. “I was so worried. I didn’t know what to do.”
Pastor Murat was reminded of God’s promise from Luke 21:18, “In that moment, God gave me just the words to say,” he said. “I told the man, ‘Only if God wills it shall you kill me. Not a hair on my head shall be touched unless it is His will.’ The man was in shock because God’s will is important to Muslims. God used a verse in the Bible to reach him. So I asked if I could pray with him and he said yes.”
And now this man is a fellow believer!
“The Saul to Paul conversion is an amazing example of what we see today,” says Pastor Murat. “Often the people who were the most dedicated extremists are now the most dedicated evangelists!”