Today I want to reintroduce you to a young lady I first met her some time ago in Washington, DC. Her name is Julie Aftab. She is from Pakistan, and she has felt the full force of persecution against Christians. Not only did Muslims pour acid on her face, they poured down her throat. There have been other attempts by Muslims to kill her because of her Christian faith. Listen to her testimony below, it will be an encouragement and an inspiration to you.
Julie Aftab was often approached by Muslims who tried to get her to convert to Islam. The Muslims were offended because she wore a reckless with a cross. They tried bribing her and using fear to intimidate her.
They told her that she was working for little money, and if she would convert to Islam she would have everything to support her family. She told them no because her faith is not for sale.
A Muslim told her she was living in darkness and was going to Hell, and that he was trying to save her soul. She responded that she knew where she was going, and she was living in light.
He said, “Then you believe Islam is living in darkness.” She told him that she did. He put more money on the table and told her to take it. She told him she didn’t want his money, and to pick it up and go away.
He grabbed her and tried to scare her. In Pakistan, many times, if girls don’t do what they want, the rape them, or throw acid in their face, or do something else. She pushed him away, slapped him, and told him she is a girl, but she is not weak. She threw the money in his face and told him to leave. As he was leaving, he said, “I’ll see if your Jesus will save you.”
At the time of this incident, she was only 16 years old.
The Muslim left, but came back 5 or 10 minutes later. He brought acid and threw it at her face. The acid was burning, and her body was smoking. She got up an ran toward the door. Another man grabbed her by the hair and held her while the first man tried to poor acid down her throat. She swallowed some of the acid and 67% of her esophagus was damaged. She saw her own cheek melted and fell on her face. She was blinded by the acid.
The police came and ask the two men why they did what they did. They told the police that it was because she said no to Islam. They said she said Islam was in darkness, to which she responded, he said so. She told them she was living in light.
They were not arrested and the police and the people who witnessed this turned against her. She was the criminal because she “insulted” Islam.
The hospital was told that if they treated her, they would set the hospital on fire. By that time her family arrived and took her to another hospital. That hospital told them that they were not going to treat her because they did not want to risk their lives for her. There was a third hospital that also refused to treat her for the same reasons.
They finally found a hospital that would treat her. The doctor told her that she was going to die anyway, so there was no point in treating her. Her mother said, she is still breathing. The hospital pronounced her dead even though she was breathing, but 21 days later God gave her life again.
This really angered the Muslims because they wanted her dead. Her parents took her to another hospital where she was operated upon. She was fully awake when the doctor operated on her. The doctor told her that if she would say yes to Islam, he would pay for all the treatment from his own pocket. She told him that for him beauty is everything, for her, her faith was everything.
She said she was not born Christian, nobody is born Christian, but she would die Christian. This doctor gave her poison. Her family took her from that hospital to another hospital. At this hospital they washed her stomach to remove the poison.
A year later, she was shot. They thought they had finished her life, but she was not killed. They wanted to hang her for committing blasphemy. Some people helped her escape from Pakistan and she came to the United States.
She is an amazing young lady. We should all be moved and motivated by her courage and willingness to suffer for her faith.
God preserved her through all of this. Many people lose their faith in the Lord for a lot less than she went through.
She said that there is no doubt there is a God, and that He is the One who sustained her through all of this.
Some would ask why God would let her go through all of this persecution. She said He is the same God that hardened the heart of Pharaoh and drowned the Egyptian army in the water of the Red Sea.
She said we have a tendency to forget in the happy times. She referred to the Book of Job Chapter 5 it says:
For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole. (Job 5:18)
She also referred to Psalm 66:
Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy [place]. (Psalms 66:12)
She told how gold is put through the fire so that it can become pure. She said that every time one of these things happened to her, she felt stronger. Every time she thinks about it, she says, If I could get through that, I can get through the present trial.
She said she is the one who misplaced God, He never misplaced her.
Not only is her stand for her faith an example for the rest of us, so is her willingness to forgive those who did these things to her. She says you can’t serve hatred and love. She will not let it happen again to her, but she does forgive those who persecuted her. What an example of Christian love and character.