An Egyptian Muslim who planned to kill his cousin for converting to Christianity has shared how he embraced the religion he once hated after Jesus delivered a powerful message to him in a dream.
Mostafa, a new convert in Egypt, recently shared with persecution watchdog Open Doors how he traveled to Cairo with the intention of killing his cousin, Mohammad, who had converted from Islam to Christianity.
In Egypt, converting from Islam to Christianity is seen as a betrayal of one's family and heritage. Christian converts risk losing their family, friends, and even their lives.
After finding his cousin sitting in a Christian worship service, Mostafa slipped behind him and waited to make his move. But as he listened to the songs and prayers, he noticed that the words he was hearing appealed to him.
Following the service, Mostafa approached Mohammad with tears in his eyes: "I came all the way from our family's village to spy on you and see if you had indeed become a Christian," he said. "I should inform your family about what I saw, but I just can't. I think the choice you made might have been the right one. Can you tell me more? Why did you leave Islam for Christianity?"
That evening, the cousins spent hours talking about the Gospel. That night, Mostafa had a dream. He saw Jesus on the cross, looking at him and saying: "I did all of this because I love you, and I want you to be free from your sins."
The next morning, Mostafa told Mohammed what he saw in his dream and asked his cousin to pray together with him for his salvation.
Mostafa recalled telling God: "I planned to kill my cousin, Your follower. But now I am prepared to give my life for You myself."
The following month, Mostafa was baptized with his cousin standing next to him. He hasn't told his family that he and Mohammed are now followers of Jesus, and the two men are currently living as secret believers.
Egypt is No. 16 on Open Doors' World Watch List and continues to be a country that poses extreme danger and violence for Christians, according to the persecution watchdog. Various Islamic extremist groups remain the largest persecutors of Christians in the country.
Despite continued persecution, a number of Christians across the Middle East have embraced Christianity. Officially, about 10% of the 95 million population are Christian, although many believe the figure is significantly higher.
Last year, a former Muslim-turned-pastor who started hundreds of churches in Pakistantold The Christian Post that many Muslims are making decisions to convert after Jesus Himself has visited them in dreams and visions.
"It's very dangerous for anyone to preach the Word of God face-to-face in non-Western countries," the pastor told CP. "God reveals things through dreams to evangelists/pastors. People in the East are more uneducated and unable to read the Bible so God uses this method to reach them."
"[People] are very faithful in the East, placing themselves in positions to see the signs of God by studying the Word of God," he added. "Eastern people watch for the signs and miracles to show that the Word of God is alive. It is a privilege, one not everyone can share in — to own a Bible in the East. In the West, people look more for wisdom, like the Greeks of old. They do not always rely on faith, which can't be seen."
Mission Frontiers magazine also reported that out of 600 Muslim converts, 25 percent experienced a dream that led to their conversion.
A now-former shaman in a village in northwest China shared in another article for Open Doors in July that she saw Christ while on her deathbed.
"I was in the back seat of a taxi as my brother drove me toward endless darkness. But then three men, who were wearing brilliant white robes, approached. But their light was so bright, I couldn't see their faces," Ting, the former shaman, said of her experience.
"They told me I must make a choice. And as they spoke, two other men wearing black robes invited me to follow them. I knew in my heart one of the men wearing a white robe was Jesus. So I followed Him."
In 2015, an Islamic State terror group fighter who had killed Christians also turned to Christ after reportedly dreaming of "a man in white."