This is the type of story I like to bring to your attention. When we seem to have Christian persecution in America on the rise, I find a story about how God is moving to change the hearts of persecutors. This time it is the story of a man who was one of the leaders of Christian persecution in Asia. I am sure that certain aspects of this story have been kept private for the man’s own personal safety but irregardless this story is inspiring and has aspects of the conversion of the Apostle Paul himself.
I found this story on the Gospel for Asia website. Here are a few excerpts of the story.
Persecutor of Christians in Asia Becomes a Christian.
Viraj had his first taste of persecution as a young man—as the one causing it. He and a few friends who were part of an anti-Christian extremist group attacked a mission. They beat pastors and nuns, then burned their belongings and literature.
Viraj was so dedicated to his cause that it seemed certain he would never sway. His story turned out much differently, however, when he chose a path no one could have expected.
As a child, Viraj very much wanted to attend school, but his parents couldn’t afford it. So when the opportunity for a free education from a religious institution came along, Viraj jumped at the chance. There he was taught anti-Christian rhetoric, eventually persuading him that the only way to save his nation was to rid it of believers in Jesus.
The more Viraj persecuted Christians, the more powerful he became. Aside from being notorious within Christian circles as a fierce persecutor, he worked as a prominent religious figure, generating a good income and receiving much honor. But suddenly something happened that was out of his control.
When Viraj’s wife became ill with a life-threatening heart problem, he took her to the best doctors he could find. But the treatments only helped a little. All Viraj’s money and power weren’t doing much to bring his wife back to health. She became bedridden for three long years, and Viraj grew desperate—so desperate that he sought out a Christian pastor to ask for prayer.
That day was an answer to many believers’ prayers. God was changing Viraj’s heart and directing him to a new path. When the pastor prayed with him, Viraj’s wife began to recover and everything changed. This man, who once hated anything to do with Jesus Christ, finally understood that He offered love and hope.
Viraj’s transformation prompted his entire family to seek the truth about Christ. Soon, each one made their own choice to trust in His love.
The Apostle Paul also was a Christian persecutor.
If you remember the story, the Apostle Paul who was called Saul, also was a vehement persecutor of the Church. This story sounds very familiar to that one. Jesus made himself real to the Apostle Paul and He has made himself real to this man. This is the type of story we need to share with everyone we meet. Almost daily we are being persecuted for our faith and our stand for morality. Understand that God is not finished yet and those same people that are coming against the Church that Jesus loves, may well become those that are transformed by his amazing grace and power.
Now more than ever is the time to pray!