Testimony of Mario Joseph
I was once a parish priest. Once I preached in my Parish that Jesus Christ is not God. For me God was only Allah. And I believe Allah never got married so no sons for Allah. Then somebody asked me “Who is Jesus?” from the crowd. Maybe a Muslim, but he asked me “Who is Jesus?”. I was preaching “he is not God” but the question was “Who is he?”. To know who he is, I read the entire Quran once again, 114 chapters, 6666 words in the Quran. When I read it, the name of Prophet Muhammad I found in Quran four places but the name of Jesus I found in 25 places. There itself I was a little confused. Why does the Quran give more preference to Jesus? And secondly, I could not see any woman’s name in the Quran, the prophet Muhammad’s mother name or wife’s name, or children’s name, no. In the Quran, there is only one woman’s name that I found, Miriam the mother of Jesus. No other woman’s name. In the Holy Quran chapter 3, the name of the chapter is “Family of Miriam” and Holy Quran chapter 19, the name of the chapter itself is “Mariam”. One chapter is “Mariam”. So I was very curious to know why this Quran says all these things. About Mariam Holy Quran Surah 3:24 onwards says that Mary was born without original sin. She never committed any sin in her life. She was a virgin. Surah 50:23 says that she went to heaven with her physical body. Even the Assumption is written in the Holy Quran.
An then about Jesus when I read Surah 3:45-55, there are 10 points that the Quran makes about Jesus. The first thing the Quran says “kalimatullah”, the Arabic word which means “word of God” and the second thing “ruh Allah”, which means “spirit of God” and the third is “Isa al-masih”, which means “Jesus Christ”. So the Quran gives the names of Jesus – Word of God, Spirit of God, Jesus Christ. Then Quran says that Jesus spoke when he was very small, like two days old after his birth. He began to speak. Quran says that Jesus created a live bird with mud. He took some mud, formed a bird and when he breathed into it, it became a live bird. So I think that he can give life. He gave life to mud, clay. Then the Quran says that Jesus healed a man born blind and a man with leprosy, etc. Curiously, the Quran says that Jesus gave life to dead people, Jesus went to heaven, he is still alive and he will come again. When I saw all these things in the Quran, my thinking was what the Quran says about Muhammad. According to the Quran, Prophet Muhammad is not the word of God, not the spirit of God, never spoke when he was two days old, never created any bird with mud, never healed any sick people, never raised any dead people, he himself died and according to Islam he’s not alive and he will not come back. So there is a lot of difference between these two prophets. I don’t call Jesus as God. My idea is he is a prophet but he is a prophet greater than Muhammad. So one day I went to my teacher, the one who taught me 10 years in Arabic College and I asked him “Teacher, how did God create the universe?” Then he said “God created the universe through the word.” Then my question: “Word” is Creator or creation? Quran says Jesus is the Word of God. If my teacher says Jesus is the word of God, it means Jesus is Creator, then the Muslims must become Christians. Suppose if he says the word is creation, he will be trapped because he said everything is created through the word. Suppose if he says the Word is creation, then how did God create the Word? So he cannot say that the word is creator and cannot say the Word is creation. So he was quite angry, he pushed me out of his room and said “It is not the Creator and not the creation. You get out from me.”
If you see things so clearly, why don’t all Muslims convert to Christianity? Why don’t they accept this?
They say the Word is not the creator and not the creation but not God, not equal with God. Then I told my Teacher “Word is not the creator, not the creation, that is why Christians say the Word is Son of God. Then he told me if there is a son for God, I must show him the wife of God. Without a wife, no chance of having a son. Then I showed a portion from the Quran. The Quran says that God can see without eyes, can talk without tongue, God can hear without ears. If that is the case, He can have a son without a wife. Then we have a big argument and at the end of it, I took Quran, put it on my chest and I said “Allah, tell me what should I do because your Quran says Jesus is still alive and Muhammad is no more. You tell me who I should accept.” After my prayer, I opened the Quran and I saw Surah 10:94. If you have any doubt in this Quran, which I give to you, go and read the Bible or ask the people, those who read the Bible. The truth is already revealed in there. So if you ask me who made me a Christian, it’s not any fathers, it’s not any sisters, it’s not any Bishops, it’s not any Cardinals, it’s not even Pope but the Holy Quran converted me to Christianity.
I attended a retreat and I was not very happy. I was less than 19, I finished my studies and I was working in a Mushid, so I was less than 19. While I was doing my Bible studies, there are a lot of points with touched me from Bible. The first day, Father read John 1:1 onwards “In the beginning there was the Word, the Word was with God and the Word was God, the Word became flesh.” So my Holy Quran says Jesus is the word of God, now the Holy Bible also says Jesus is the Word of God. So I found that both are very similar and I was happy to know that I need the Quran and I need the Bible. I was in the mood like one day I become a Christian, one day a Muslim. I need both. While I was thinking like that, one more word I heard, that was John 1:12. It is such a lovely word for me because it is written in the Bible that if any one accepted Jesus, Jesus will give them power to become children of God. All the verses of the Quran, Allah calls human beings slaves and Allah is master. Master cannot love the slave, slave cannot love the master. I don’t like to be called by someone a slave. Quran says you are my slave. But when I heard John 1:12 it says if you believe in Jesus, Jesus will give you power to become children of God. Immediately I said I need Jesus because I want to be a child of God. There I began to call my God “Daddy”. Until then I never knew that I could call God “Daddy”. Jesus taught the prayer in Aramaic language. “Our God who art in heaven.” “Abbun” he called. In Arabic language, “Abbun” means “Our dad”. I cannot express my joy whenever I call God “Dad”. Whenever I think that the creator of the universe is my dad, I have a kind of joy that I cannot express. It’s beyond my experience, cannot explain. Only you can understand by experience. So I really love to call my God “Dad”. There I decided to accept Jesus.
So that’s when you made the decision to become a Christian? Did you tell your family?
No, I stayed in Divine (Retreat Center) and so many other points touched my life. When finally my dad came there, it was very horrible because he beat me very badly and I was bleeding from my nose and I was unconscious, and then he took me because I was unconscious. When I came in conscious without any clothes, I was completely naked amd my hands and legs were chained very tightly, and I could not even speak because there was chili powder in my mouth, nose, eyes and wherever the wound was there on my skin, they had placed some chili there also to burn me. They had done so much because it is written in the Quran in 18 places to fight with the non-believers. And it is written in some places to kill the one who rejects Islam. So my dad is obeying the law of the Quran. He wants to do something. And within a few days, they did not give me food or water and I was dried up, and my lip broke and I was trying to lick a little blood to wet my throat. Then my brother came and passed urinein my mouth. He said that’s punishment for you to believe in Christ. After so many days without food or water my stomach became wrung, my body became weak and I became like a bone. Finally I lost even my memory power. I can’t even think because I had no food, no water. Like a dead man. I don’t know how many days, more than 20 days I was there in the room. One day my dad came to the room and he removed my chain and I was not aware. And he choked my throat very deep to know if there is life in my body. When he choked me very deep, I couldn’t breathe. When I opened my eyes, I could see a big knife in his hand. My dad said “It’s your last moment. No hope.” He said “If you need Allah, I will allow you to leave. If you need Jesus, I will kill you.” I know that when I was in the womb, all said I will die but they loved me so much and prayed and they got life for me. And now they want to kill me. I know my dad well; he will kill me. When I know that it’s my last moment of death, I thought anyway Jesus died but he came back. If I believe in Jesus and die, I too may get my life. A kind of joy, it is better to die in Jesus. When I decided, suddenly a light fell on my forehead, like a moonlight. Something fell on me and there was a kind of electric shock, something passed throughout my veins. I was so energized, from somewhere energy flowing through my body and I couldn’t control myself. There was so much energy in my bones. I pulled my dad’s hand down and I cried out “Jesus”. When I cried out, my dad fell on the ground. When he fell with the knife which he was holding, there was a big wound on his chest and there was bleeding and some kind of foam was coming from his mouth, he was screaming. All were shocked – my brothers and mom, my sisters. They didn’t know what’s happening. They thought my dad was already dead so they took my dad and ran to the hospital. When they were running to hospital, they forgot to lock my room from outside. I had an energy which I cannot tell you because I was only bone, no food for so many days, more than 20 days. Boney but with a lot of energy. I just came out and put on my dad’s clothes and ran to the taxi stand to get a taxi straight away to get out. On the way, the taxi man, he was a Christian, he bought for me some candy, juice and everything, and he knows my struggle and he took me to Potta. He contacts me even now. He is very good friend of mine, the taxi driver.
I came to Potta again. That day I really understood my Jesus is Alive even now. When I call him for my need, He saved me, which means he is present here even when I am talking to you. So that is my life. Everywhere I know that he is present because now after my conversion 18 years, I never thought that Muslims would allow me to live 18 years. I have even preached in the Middle East, where the Arabs came but nothing happened, which means my Jesus is alive and he’s protecting me.
Mario, is your life in danger? Are people still trying to kill you?
Yes, even after this experience, so many times they’ve tried to kill me. In the end, my parents did a mock funeral ceremony. It’s like an outcasting, keeping you out. They made my statue and buried it in a grave and they wrote my birth date and death date. They wrote my original birthday but the death date, the day when I became Christian, when I took the baptism. That is the death date for them and they buried me. So in my hometown I have my own grave. One of my friends, a Christian friend, when he passed that way, he took a photo of that grave and sent it to me. That’s how I know that I have a grave. Thereafter, no contact with my sisters whom I love so much, my mom I really love her but no hope. Humanly speaking no hope but God can touch them within a moment.
Fear of death is actually foolishness. All those who are born should die one day. 100 percent, they all have to die. Whether you fear or you don’t fear, you have to die, it’s a fact. I will say that is the only assured thing which you will attain on earth. Now when I’m talking to you, I’m not sure whether this will be broadcasted because anything can happen. I’m not sure whether I will have my dinner tonight. I am not sure whether I’ll be back to India. I’m not sure whether my children will study very well and get their certificate. I’m not sure of anything. Thing only thing which is surest to me on earth is that I will die. All other things are uncertain. You are trying, something is happening, something is not happening. The only thing that is sureest on earth is death. So never fear death. You must be sure that it is going to come one day. What you can do is: you can think like this. If you believe in Muhammad and die, you know what will be your situation? Prophet Muhammad died, people buried him and afterwards we don’t know where he went. If I believe in him and die, I don’t know where I will go. So many gods and goddesses in my country India. All have lived, created history, they died, people buried them and we don’t know where they went. If I believe in all these gods and goddesses, I don’t know what my future will be. But Christ, who died, came back. So I have a hope, if I die in Christ, I will come back. It is better to be sure of death and that should be in Christ. Because Jesus said very clearly in John 14:3. I’m going to my father’s house. There are so many rooms and I will arrange a room for you. Then I will come back to take you. I’m so happy to know that my Jesus is arranging a big bungalow for me there. Because once he finishes work, He will come back to take me. I think it is a big bungalow because in the last 18 years, the Muslims tried to kill me and they could not kill me, which means construction is going on. Once it is ready, he will come back to take me. Then only the Muslims can kill me. Until then, nobody can. I am not afraid of death, that is a fact. Only thing I am thinking is: after my death, what? To have eternal life you need Jesus.