“You Can’t Say You’re a Christian”

“You Can’t Say You’re a Christian”

A Tazig* believer recently shared with Joel* a problem that many new Tazig believers face.

Five of his family members had come down from their mountain village to spend the winter with him in the big city. The six of them passed the months in his 300 square foot apartment. They were unhappy to learn that he had become a follower of Jesus and rejected the Buddhist way. 

The young man, however, loved and cared for his family and used the opportunity to tell them about Christ. He shared Scripture with them, prayed for them, and shared his life day by day. They could see the positive changes in his life. 

Before they left to return to their village, his sister pulled him aside. “It’s okay for you to be a Christian here in the city. We think it’s good for you. We can see your life is different now. But you can’t say you’re a Christian when you are in our village. You will bring shame on our family.

“While we celebrate the progress this brother had with his family,” Joel says, “community shame is a powerful force among the Tazig people.Our hearts long to see whole families and villages turn to Christ together. When whole families choose to follow Christ together, it mitigates the power of shame. When a person responds favorably to a gospel presentation, the next question to ask is ‘would your family and friends also like to hear this Good News?’ We are asking God for whole families and communities to turn to Him.” 

*pseudonyms