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Question

My country does not allow the changing of religion but I know my current faith is not for me.

Answer

Thank you for contacting us about your situation. I can see that you are in a very difficult place and we are praying for you, asking that God will guide and strengthen you. 

We appreciate that there are laws in some countries that prohibit the possibility of changing your religion, or making your own personal choice at an age of understanding. However, we still believe that people should have the ability to make a free and personal choice about their faith because only God can command the soul. 

Christians believe, of course, that it is right to respect and obey those in authority. 1 Timothy 2:1-2 says therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and those in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all Godliness and reverence. Verses 3 and 4 of the same chapter tell us the way that Paul, the writer of Timothy, wants us to know: for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all men [and women] to be saved and come to the knowledge of truth.

However, the authority of God is higher than any human authority, and we are told in the Bible that we must obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29). That becomes necessary when the government commands what God forbids, or forbids what God commands. When we do that we have also to accept the consequences in unjust punishments if necessary, but the New Testament gives examples of times when believers chose to flee from persecution in order to save their lives (see, for example, Acts 9). 

Therefore, it is quite accepted that in a country which executes people for turning to Christ, believers may either remain secret about their faith while they work out their future, or may choose to leave for a country where they will be given freedom.

There are, however, in some strictly Muslim countries especially, secret believers who stay there either because they cannot leave or because they are praying for their families and friends and for a better future there. The personal challenge for such believers is expressed in Acts 4: But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:19-20). 

A big question for secret believers is whether it is more godly to remain in secret and to pray for some change of attitude, or perhaps to risk speaking with people very secretively, or to accept persecution and even martyrdom for Christ. Paul was persecuted and he said in 2 Corinthians 12:10: therefore I take pleasure...in persecutions...for when I am weak, then I am strong. I am aware that good believers have chosen to remain secret or to emigrate and no-one can make that decision for you, especially in countries where it is easy to be a Christian believer. It is possible in the Middle East to remain secret locally but find fellowship and share faith through internet programmes and radio/tv broadcasts. If you seek honestly to please God, you will know His blessing, for Jesus said, "I came that they may have life and have it abundantly". (John 10:10). 

Jesus has made a way, through his death and resurrection, for our sins to be forgiven and for us to have peace with God.

The most important thing to remember is the gospel message. The bible makes it clear that each one of us has committed sins: acts against each other and against God. However, Jesus' death and resurrection has made a way for us to have our sins forgiven. As is written in Isaiah 1:18: "come now, and let us reason together, though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool". We have to ask for forgiveness of our sins through Jesus because we can never earn our way into heaven: we simply cannot be good enough. However, salvation is the gift of God and is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23). 

If you invite Jesus Christ to forgive your sins and be your Lord and Saviour, you become His special treasure. He promises to be with you and guide you for the rest of your life, and to take you to heaven to live with Him forever, when you die. You will be secure in Him whatever men may say or do. 

"I am with you always, to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20)

"Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also" (John 14:1-3)

In summary, we believe that you are free to choose faith in Christ Jesus. Even though people may be against you, just as is true for Christians around the world, I would encourage you by letting you know that Jesus has made a way for us, that the difficulties we face will pass, and that being in communion with Jesus is better than being in the ways of the world. 

In closing, I would encourage you to try and find other Christians that may be able to help you in your decision. Again I appreciate that this may be difficult to do, but meeting with other Christians regularly is always a source of encouragement for yourself, and they will be able to help you answer questions you may have. They will also be able to pray with you regularly. 

Here are some more Bible Verses for your further consideration:

  • Romans 8:35
  • 1 Peter 4:16
  • Matthew 5:12

I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video

Please feel free to submit a question to us or to read our answer database: Ask a Question

*Taken From The New King James Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise

*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline


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