As thousands observe the hajj, Brother A lingers in limbo

By July 20, 2021

Saudi Arabia (MNN) — The hajj, an annual Muslim pilgrimage, is a vibrant six-day event this year, with pilgrims organized into color-coded groups following a strict schedule. Only 60,000 Saudi residents are allowed to participate because of the pandemic.

Saudi Arabia may have banned foreign visitors, but nothing can stop the Holy Spirit.

Normally, 2-3 million pilgrims participate in the hajj. This year, Saudi Arabia limited activities to 60,000 Saudi residents.
(Photo courtesy of Konevi/Pexels)

“It’s during times like the hajj, or Ramadan, when our Muslim friends around the world are submitting to God,” Greg Musselman with Voice of the Martyrs Canada says.

“God is doing a work in our Muslim friends’ lives, and we just pray that we’d see many, many more come to know Jesus.”

The same God who breaks spiritual strongholds in the Muslim world can save “Brother A” from danger. This persecuted Saudi Christian is in serious trouble, but details are hard to find.

Advocates say there’s a purpose to the secrecy. “We have to be careful; we [don’t] want to cause our brother any more harm than he’s already gone through,” Musselman says.

“He is under a lot of pressure right now [and] we’re watching this case very closely.”

Why is Brother A in trouble?

Here’s what we know about Brother A: “He was fined the equivalent of about $77,000 (around 100,000 Canadian dollars) on these charges,” Musselman says.

“In Saudi Arabia, which is the home of Islam, it’s illegal to convert to Christianity. For those that do, and then tell others about Jesus, that could [result in] a death sentence [or] imprisonment.”

Current events may influence the courts’ delay in processing Brother A’s case. “It’ll be interesting to see, because of hajj and all that’s going on in Saudi Arabia right now, whether he (Brother A) will be successful in his appeal and not to have to pay that fine,” Musselman says.

Earlier this month, VOM Canada released the following update on Brother A:

According to a recently received report, the timeline for his appeal is uncertain. In the meantime, he has thankfully been able to get his family to safety. His wife and younger son have relocated to a safe country where they are being protected, and his eldest son was able to leave Saudi Arabia earlier.

Find your place in the story

As individuals, we do not influence Saudi Arabia’s judicial system or government. But we know the God who holds the nations in His hands. Ask the Lord to give Brother A peace and protect his family.

“These cases are very sensitive. Some of these governments, like Saudi Arabia … they’re trying to be seen from the outside world as not being barbaric. As followers of Christ, we can see through some of the façades; but again, we don’t want to put people at risk where it’s not necessary,” Musselman says.

“We don’t know this ‘Brother A’ [but] certainly God does. Pray on an individual level for Brother A, his wife, children; and then also for Muslim people around the world — that they would come into a relationship with Jesus during this time.”



Header image courtesy of VOM Canada.

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