It’s been all over the news just lately, acid attacks around the world are on the rise. An absolutely horrific and heinous crime that seeks, not only to kill but to maim, disfigure and scar a person’s face and body for life. Not only does the acid burn and damage skin tissue, it can even dissolve bones.
A BBC documentary that was on TV last week, featuring a young woman who had acid thrown in her face by her best friend, raised awareness of this brutal crime, propelling major stores across the country to voluntarily ban sales of acid to customers under 18 years of age. Currently there are no age restrictions on buying household bleach or drain cleaning products containing acid in the UK, so the fact that retailers are committed to selling acids responsibly is a step in the right direction, on winning the war against acid.
Attacked by Acid for being a Christian
The story of a young Pakistani woman, persecuted for being a Christian, really touched my heart. Julie Aftab was just 16 years of age when she had acid thrown in her face and poured down her throat, for declaring her faith in Jesus.
Julie was working as a telephone operator, in an office in Pakistan at the time of her assault, when a Muslim man approached her and asked her if she was a Christian. He had spotted she was wearing a cross around her neck, a cross that her grandfather had given to her when she was just 8 years old. Julie answered the man and stated proudly that yes, she was a Christian.
The man then began to insult Julie, saying she would ‘go to hell’ and would end up ‘living in the gutter’ for the rest of her life. Julie took a stand for her faith, telling the man, “I know exactly where I’m going when I die. I’m living in the light and I’m the daughter of the King.”
The man left but not before attempting to bribe Julie, with money, asking her to convert to the Muslim faith. Julie declined and the man left saying, “We’ll see if your Jesus will save you now then.” He then came back half an hour later with another man and poured battery acid all over Julie’s face and body. As Julie ran to the door, screaming, the man’s accomplice poured acid down Julie’s throat saying the words, “We are going to destroy the mouth that said ‘No’ to Islam.”
These men did not win and they did not silence the voice of this brave, Christian woman. Julie Aftab is now re-building her life and is living in Texas after becoming an American Citizen. Julie regularly speaks at events to raise awareness of acid attacks and persecution against Christians.
What a brave and inspiring woman, to stand before the face of adversity and continue to confess her faith in Jesus, despite intimidation from the enemy. The trials that I am currently facing pale into insignificance in comparison to what this brave young woman has gone through. Forgive me Lord, for the times I have complained about being persecuted when I really have no idea what true persecution is.
Let us continue to stand together in love and unity, continually praying for all our brothers and sisters, around the world who are being persecuted for Christ.
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