Saudi Arabia (MNN) — "For this hard-core Muslim religious policeman who was in charge of enforcing Islamic code in Saudi Arabia, for his own daughter to become a believer in
Christ, obviously he felt such shame brought on his family that it was better to kill her than to live with that shame," said Todd Nettleton of Voice of the Martyrs USA.
According to Gulf News, the man was a working for the Commission for promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. When he found out his daughter had secretly become a Christian, the two of them got into a heated discussion. Gulf News reports that the girls tongue was cut, and she was burned to death.
Nettleton said that what news reports are calling an "honor killing" is a two-sided coin. First, it's done because of the overwhelming shame that a family feels from one of
their own members becoming an "apostate." Secondly, it's done because it is a common mindset in the Islamic world that conversion is a process which takes time. "If you're able to kill your family member before that conversion process is complete, you're actually doing them a favor because they're still going to die a Muslim. They're still going to have some chance of going to Muslim paradise after death," explained Nettleton.
The girl had written in her blog that her brother had seen some Christian articles of hers and had noticed a cross on her computer screen. She also wrote about the difficulties she
faced with her family when they began to suspect her conversion to Christianity.
Religious leaders in Saudi Arabia have warned against the dangers of Christian Web sites and television shows that draw in youngsters and pull them away from Islam. They say spending time in these media outlets is against the teaching of Islam.
The Web sites she visited and blogged on have set aside pages where people can mourn for her, and some have even been temporarily shut down in protest.
In Muslim nations, like Saudi Arabia where the girl lived, a lack of peace is pervasive. "That is leading to questions. That's leading people to say, 'What else is out there because, you know, I've tried Islam. I've followed the Koran. I still don't feel any peace in my life,'" said Nettleton. "The internet becomes a source of information and, ultimately, a source of ministry that says there is something else out there. There's Jesus Christ and the hope, the assurance of eternity with Him, and that speaks very loudly to the Muslim heart."
Nettleton asks Christians to pray for the slain girl's family. News sources report that her father has been taken into custody for investigation. Pray that the Holy Spirit will soften their hearts through the witness of their daughter and sister, and that they'll come to a saving knowledge of Jesus. Also, pray for all believers in Saudi Arabia who put their lives on the line to follow Christ.