Umair & Neha | The lost sheep of Lord returning home
Picture a situation where loving someone is forbidden, where it causes your family to abandon you, or threatens your own faith. That is exactly what Pakistani Christian Neha had to battle with when she fell in love with a Muslim boy named Umair, converted to Islam for marrying him and was disowned by her family for abandoning Christ.
During the first year of the relationship all seemed bearable, however as time passed Neha began to struggle with anxiety attacks and hatred of the Arabic prayers 5 times a day. Without understanding the language in which she prayed or read the Quran she felt no connection to a God she didn´t know or understand. The change felt forced upon her and unlike Christianity she achieved no spiritual satisfaction nor peace through this change of religion. Thus she began to encourage her husband to consider Christianity as the one true faith, helping him to see that he was equally unhappy in his current religious state.
In spite of his initial anger and reluctance, eventually Umair began to truly listen to his wife, trying to read the Bible and study online content. Neha and he secretly practiced their Christianity away from their friends, family and wider society, knowing that abandonment of Islam would sentence them to death by crime of apostasy if discovered. In radical Islamic society once you convert to Islam you will always be a Muslim.
Two years into their marriage the couple was blessed by the Lord with a baby girl named “Urwa”. This life changing event sparked a desire in the couple for their daughter to follow the true word of God and grow up as a Christian. Umair and Neha decided to convert to Christianity and be born again in Christ 6 months ago today. They chose this in full awareness of the peril it places them in but knew that the risk was worth it for them to live and die as followers of Christ. They understood their salvation was only possible through Jesus Christ.
No Church would baptize Muslims due to the danger in which it would place both congregation and Church by vengeful radical Muslims, so the couple were baptized in an open place (just like Jesus). Following the baptism, they sought help from the delighted family of Neha who welcomed them back into the fold with open arms.
However, events took a turn for the worst when Umair´s Muslim family learned of their conversion and viewed it as a horrendous betrayal, sin, and crime punishable by death. They began to hunt down the family of three, who took to hiding, constantly on the run with anonymous identities and no stable home.
Desperately trying to support his wife and young baby Umair had to venture into the world to work from time to time, which exposed him to threat of his brothers tracking him down. Umair was so dreadfully beaten and attacked that he ended up in hospital. He then began receiving death threats by telephone and on social networking sites. The police ignored his requests for protection in spite of him hiding the facts of his conversion. In fact, they refused to ever register his complaint against his brothers. He even resorted to an appeal with the Pakistani judiciary but his plight was not heard.
Umair is now dreadfully afraid that his brothers will spread the word of his conversion and incite the radical factions of Islamic society to violence. Some believe killing a non-Muslim is viewed as a holy job which will get them an automatic place in heaven and 72 virgin women – so they would not hesitate in going after him if they learned of the news.
Clearly, Umair, Neha and their baby daughter´s lives are at risk. Abandoning Islam means they will never be safe in their homeland of Pakistan.
This innocent Christian family desperately needs our help and support to flee the danger in Pakistan. They seek nothing more than a safe relocation and have no wish at all for luxuries or special favors. All they ask for is the right to practice their faith in safety, free from the constant threat of death. They want a life of dignity, where their human rights are respected, and their darling daughter can grow up peacefully.