Extending the Hand of Friendship amid Persecution
November 3, 2014
Egypt — In Egypt it is mandatory for young men to serve in the military for three years. Almost from the start of his service after college, Hussein was attracted to a group of fellow soldiers who were different and had a deep belief in God. They even bore without retaliating the humiliation and persecution from those in charge because of their faith.
It was these young fellows that encouraged Hussein to listen to TWR’s Arabic radio broadcast. The Arabic team has come to know Hussein over the years as a deep and earnest thinker with a heart longing for truth and justice. This young man was showering the team with many questions, hungry to know many things, eager to find real life. “You are the light that helps me to gain insight,” he once told them.
All of a sudden, Hussein stopped writing. After some time had passed, TWR’s Arabic team heard from him again. The joy of being reconnected was soon overshadowed by sadness and compassion as Hussein cautiously shared the reason for his long silence.
He had been handed over to the authorities by one of his relatives. For an entire month he was imprisoned in a dark room. Guards would torture him using a combination of freezing and boiling water plus electric shocks. At his release, his relative warned him that he would have to go back to his inherited religion if he did not want to be imprisoned again.
In the midst of this painful and frightening trial, Hussein could sense Jesus was close to him. Hussein describes himself as “purified and humbled from all ego and pride.” Although he is no longer subject to physical pain from his ordeal, the emotional scars are a heavy burden to carry alone.