Jordan (MNN) — Four new believers in Jordan just took an unprecedented step of faith: they were baptized.
“It was just a beautiful, beautiful ceremony,” shares Samuel of Redemptive Stories. “They each got up and told their stories about how they had come to faith in Christ. We worshipped together and then had the opportunity to baptize them.”
This baptism was significant for a couple of reasons. First, each new believer comes from a Muslim background.
Secondly, “When someone crosses over from the other side into Christianity, there’s a big gap in opportunities for them but there’s also a gap in security,” Samuel explains. “I’ve been in Jordan for a number of years and this was the first time that this sort of event occurred.
“It takes unique, special situations, circumstances for them to feel ready and to take that step of faith.”
In Jordan, Christians from Muslim backgrounds face more pressure than those who have a Christian lineage. Usually, persecution comes from family members and neighbors who present only one option: forget Jesus and come back to Islam.
“Communal pressures and familial persecution is really what a lot of these believers face, much more so than state persecution. That can be physical beating, kicking him out of the home, losing jobs – which happens regularly.”
Public baptism is indeed a rare and significant step for believers from a Muslim background. However, it’s only the first step of an ongoing journey of faith. Pray for these new believers as they learn what it means to follow Christ.
Along with diving into God’s Word, the new Christians will learn “what it means to be a believer, what our identity in Christ now means; there’s a lot of things that have to be ‘unlearned’ from their background teaching,” Samuel explains.
“For a Muslim, there are specific rules about how to use the bathroom; there are specific rules about every part of life that are part of their religion. [Our role will be] to teach them that in Christianity, we’re a lot more free about these things. Those are much more cultural for us, rather than taught to us by a religion.”
Balancing passion and discernment will be a challenge, he adds.
“Pray on their behalf as they face these difficulties; the frustration of wanting to tell others but – because of the negative effects that could happen to them – there’s fear,” Samuel says.
“I want you to pray for boldness for them.”
Header image obtained via Pixabay.