Tuesday, 6 June 2017
Monday, 5 June 2017
‘I came to the UK because I had a problem in Afghanistan,’ says Abdul Ahmad (32). That’s a bit of an understatement, as it turns out.
Abdul is currently being held at Heathrow’s Immigration Removal Centre awaiting deportation. And it is here that he has discovered the Bible.
‘I committed adultery with my neighbour’s wife,’ he says. ‘The father of the man came and I ran away, because in Afghanistan when you commit adultery, they will kill you. I was afraid that I would be killed.’
Abdul fled to his uncle’s house in Kabul. There he paid $6,000 to a trafficker to bring him to the UK in the back of a lorry. This is ten years’ ago.
For four years he sofa surfed and lived a hand-to-mouth existence. Then, in 2011 he was stopped, randomly by the police. This revealed that he had no legal status in the UK, and so he finds himself at Heathrow awaiting deportation.
Here, he was befriended by a Nigerian Christian detainee who introduced Abdul to the Bible. Then one night, he had a dream.
‘I was asleep at 4.30am and I had a dream,’ he says. ‘All the world was very dark, but then a person came who was shining light. I couldn’t look at his face. I said, “Who are you?” He said, “I am Jesus, the Messiah”.
‘I said, “Who are all these other people?” He said, “These are all the people who love me.” And then I woke up. I couldn’t sleep. I stood and thought about it and then I came to the chapel.
‘I think that Jesus is my friend to tell me about himself like that,’ he says.
Abdul’s been reading a Bible in his native language. ‘The Bible gives me everything I need really,’ he says. ‘When I read it I become relaxed and I forget that I’m in the detention centre. It makes me very happy.’
Abdul’s future is at best uncertain. ‘I’m afraid for my life if I go back to Afghanistan,’ he says. ‘People aren’t educated. They will just kill me because I am a Christian as well as for the adultery.’
Abdul received a Bible in his native language thanks to our supporters. Find out more about our work in Heathrow’s Immigration Removal Centre.
Author: Bible Society, 2 June 2017