Iraq: Muslim from Nineveh resisted the Bible, then discovered its ‘magnetism’
Chevan was born in Nineveh, the city where Jonah preached. His father was a sheikh and preached at the mosque, but Chevan never got interested in daily prayers. He was drawn into journalism and reported on television and movies.
As a result of his coverage of popular culture, islamic extremists targeted him. They had already killed a sportswriter friend because they were demanding “good” press. They didn’t care that a sportswriter has nothing to do with politics. Chevan didn’t write about politics either, but after he witnessed his friend gunned down in front of his eyes, he knew not to stick around.
He traveled to Syria, then Egypt, to Dubai and finally to Lebanon. His family was aware of the dangers he faced and funded his travel. While he pursued an acting career, he found a job selling ads for a magazine and two newspapers. He was getting by.
‘The pastor reached out his hand and offered him a Bible’
One day he was walking down a busy street near downtown Beirut when he ran into a pastor handing out Bibles. The pastor reached out his hand and offered a Bible to him. “No, I don’t take it,” Chevan said. “I am Muslim.” “You don’t have to be Christian to read the Bible,” pastor Gergis responded. “It’s happy news. You just read it like any other book.”
Two days later, the same pastor approached Chevan on another street, without recognizing him. This time, Chevan was annoyed. “This is the second time you told me to take the Bible, and I told you I don’t want it,” he responded gruffly. Improbably, the pastor ran into Chevan on the beach a few days later, didn’t recognize him, and offered him a Bible once more. “You know this is the third time you offer me this Bible. This time I will take it, not because I want it, but just because I want you to stop!”