September 2000

I was holding open-air evangelistic crusades in Karachi, the capital of Pakistan. Although there are Christian “colonies” where such meetings can be held safely, this crusade was in a non-Christian community. During each meeting I preached the gospel and asked the Lord to confirm His word by healing the sick miraculously. Those who were healed I asked to come forward to testify publicly at the podium. After each testimony I would take back the microphone and declare heartily that “Jesus is the Son of God!” 

For two nights over our loudspeakers the local people in the community heard the gospel and the testimonies, followed by what to them was blasphemy. The First Pillar of the local religion, the Shahadah, declares emphatically that “there is no God but Allah…,” meaning there is no Son who is equal to the Father. Anyone who blasphemes by saying that Jesus Christ is God is worthy of death.

al Qu’ran Sura 5.72 They do blaspheme who say: “(Allah) is Christ the son of Mary.” But said Christ: “O Children of Israel! worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.” Whoever joins other gods with Allah,- Allah will forbid him the garden, and the Fire will be his abode. There will for the wrong-doers be no one to help. 73. They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a Trinity: for there is no god except One Allah. If they desist not from their word (of blasphemy), verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them. 

Sura 19.88 And they say: The Beneficent God has taken (to Himself) a son. 89 Certainly you have made an abominable assertion.

On the third night of the crusade, a mob of simmering people gathered outside the walls of our open-air courtyard. A messenger came into our meeting to inform us that unless we stopped the meeting immediately, our safety could not be guaranteed. One of the Christian brothers went out to confront them, and was told they had firearms. My host pastor asked me to stop preaching, and I understood from the chilling tone of his voice that there was imminent danger. As I stepped down from the podium he announced to the crowd that the service was over, and that everyone should leave immediately. A foreboding sense of fear came over me. I was told to sit down and wait as the crowd of people milled around wondering where to go—the mob was just on the other side of the courtyard walls. Over the confusion I could hear the sound of the mob chanting in an unknown language.

Sitting there I couldn’t understand why we didn’t get out quickly. It occurred to me to remove my jacket and tie so I wouldn’t be recognized as the blasphemer once we left the couryard. In my imagination I saw myself being surrounded by angry people and beaten, and having to explain to my wife back in Houston what had happened. I was snapped back to reality when some of the brothers grabbed my arm and escorted me out a side exit into an alley which led to the back of the courtyard. We walked briskly but did not run. At the back of the courtyard we turned right onto a small street, merging into a stream of pedestrians in the night. I didn’t notice anyone chasing us, but the apprehension had locked onto my heart. After a few blocks we came upon a small white sedan idling at the side of the street. A door swung open, I was pushed into the rear seat, and we took off. Even in the car I did not feel completely out of danger. At a pause in the traffic I looked around to see if we were being followed. It was not until I was safely back at my host pastor’s home did I calm down.

Later a few other believers who had been at the meeting trickled into the pastor’s home. Some of the younger sisters were still weeping in hysteria from the frightening confrontation with the spirit of anti-christ that evening.