Muslim doctor converts to Christianity and plants 50 churches
Living in one of the most unreached places in the world, devout Muslim Sanjay's whole life changed when he was healed from cancer.
Growing up as a devout Muslim, Sanjay* gave his life to Jesus and now, despite persecution, shares the gospel with everyone he meets. Since his conversion, Sanjay has led hundreds to faith in Jesus and planted 50 small house churches for believers with Muslim backgrounds.
Sanjay's journey to faith started when he was in hospital in Kolkata, India, having chemotherapy.
"I was crying, and the one name that I did not want to believe in came back to me again and again – the name of Jesus," he says. "I was so weak and so sick. So I prayed to the Lord Jesus and said, 'will you heal me?'"
Slowly, Sanjay began to feel better. Knowing that something had changed, he returned to the hospital for tests and discovered the cancer was gone. He was healed. "I saw that only Jesus can save my life," he says, "nobody else can." Realising that it was Jesus who restored his health, Sanjay gave his life to Christ and got baptised.
West Bengal, where Sanjay lives, is one of the least evangelised places on the planet. When he discovered Jesus was real, Sanjay started preaching the gospel in his Muslim village and telling everyone he could about Christ. It was not well received.
"My family threw me out. They said, 'we want nothing to do with you. Since you have Jesus you can just go away.'" Other people began plotting against him. "They decided to break into my doctor's office where patients used to come and see me," he says.
Sanjay was afraid, and he prayed to God for protection. God acted, leading Sanjay's mother to have compassion on him and to let him come back home.
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For years, Sanjay has been persecuted by many in his community for sharing the gospel. But he just won't stop. As well as working as a doctor, Sanjay has dedicated his life to serve as an evangelist and a church planter, supported in his ministry by UK charity BMS World Mission.
He has found a way to forgive those who persecuted him, as God forgave him. And now, miraculously, those who once attacked him come to him for medical care.
"People who persecuted me for many years got tired. They said, 'the more we tell him not to speak, the more he goes out and preaches'," says Sanjay. "People who wanted to throw me out, now they bring their patients to me and say, 'we're so sorry'."
Having already planted 50 churches for Muslim background believers, Sanjay shows no signs of slowing down – he is keen to press on with his ministry.
"Apart from Jesus there is no life," he says. "I am even more excited to tell others what Jesus has done. Every day I want to live for my Lord and keep on doing what I'm doing. Please pray that I can do more in the days to come."
*name changed to protect identity.