Life was tough for Ali even as a Muslim in Syria but when he was forced to flee seven years ago, he found Christ.
Ali was living in a town in Syria where known terrorists with links to Islamic State were also residing; in fact, he had even rejected their invitation to join them.
One day, a bomb went off in his town, injuring him and many others.
When he was in hospital recovering from his injuries, the government, who were investigating the bombing, considered everyone in the town a terrorist – even those who were innocent.
When he was released from the hospital, Ali was immediately arrested by the secret police and sent to jail.
Jail in Syria was a horrific experience for Ali.
“I was beaten every single day and subjected to all kinds of torture just to get me to confess that I was a terrorist. I was tied up, given electric shocks and hung upside down daily,” he recalls.
Every day he expected to die, as many people were killed.
By chance, another man with the same name was imprisoned. This man happened to be the son of an army general and was to be released. Due to an error, officials mistakenly released Ali instead and after 14 months in jail, he was freed.
Islamic State found out that Ali had been released and were plotting to kill him. “No one was released from jail unless they worked for the secret police and, also because I rejected them, they were after me.”
The prison authorities soon discovered their error, but Ali acted quickly and fled the country. He first flew to Lebanon with his mother and sister before moving to Jordan to live.
After living in Jordan for a few years, Ali married, and his wife soon became pregnant but tragically she died in childbirth. Ali was left a widower with a newborn son.
At this time Ali was still a devout Muslim, reciting the Koran daily. One day, he noticed something new – that the Koran mentioned the prophet named Jesus more than it mentioned Mohammed.
“I noticed that this character was different, he wasn’t just a normal prophet, he acted different and spoke of bringing peace,” Ali says.
He met with a known Christian pastor, who had been helping him, and asked him for a Bible.
“I wanted to know about Christians,” he says. “In Islam and in mosques they talk about Christians as if they are bad people. But when I came to Jordan these bad people were the only ones to help me, the only ones to feed me, the only ones who encouraged me. These ‘bad people’ were actually good people.”
Ali began to read the Bible and gave his life to Jesus. He soon joined the church and began ministry.
Sadly, his difficulties didn’t end there.
The Muslim company that he worked for discovered he had converted to Christianity and made his life difficult before framing him for stealing money and firing him. They also told other companies not to hire him.
Ali hasn’t had permanent work for six months and he still suffers the physical effects from his time in prison, but cannot afford adequate medical care. He is serving the Lord, ministering to Muslims through the Koran and the Bible.
The local pastor who led Ali to the Lord continues to help him and says he would love to see Ali in full-time ministry. He believes he has a gift to help other Muslims find Christ.
VOM will continue to help refugees in Jordan.
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