Martyr Monday – Saleema

She grew up in a Christian family in Pakistan.  For her, faith in Jesus Christ was a part of everyday life and often came with great costs.  At age 17, Saleema knew the dangers of sharing her faith in the Muslim stronghold of Pakistan, but that did not prevent her from being a living witness of her Lord Jesus.  In early 1997, Saleema gave a Bible to a Muslim friend of hers named Raheela.  Raheela, 18,  was so convinced by what she read that she immediately fell in love with Christ.  She longed to know more about Jesus, and on Good Friday, she found the courage to attend a Christian church.  It was on this day that Rabeela heard, for the first time, of the crucifixion, the atonement, and the resurrection of Jesus.  She had read about Jesus in the Koran, but the Islamic Holy Book failed to mention his crucifixion and atonement for sin.  That morning before returning home she gave her life to Jesus Christ.

Rabeela’s parents were very disturbed by the news.  According to Islamic law, their daughter was guilty of blasphemy against the prophet Mohammed.  She was beaten, kicked and tortured by her parents.  However, she would not deny Christ.  Her parents continued the persecution and decided it would be best to give their daughter in marriage to a Muslim man.  She refused, and her parents became FURIOUS.  So she ran away to Saleema and her pastor for counsel.  On June 9th, 1997, her parents, thinking Saleema had kidnapped her, had Saleema and her family arrested where she was starved, beaten, slapped and tortured for 9 hours with her parents.  The next day the pastor and his family were arrested and imprisoned.  Saleema and the pastor were taken to a torture cell where they were tortured indescribably.  Saleema was whipped 16 times (5 times would make a normal man pass out) and repeatedly raped.  She couldn’t sit for 2 weeks, and the pastor could barely walk due to the bruises on his hips and thighs.  As part of the torture, Saleema was forced to stand on the tips of her toes for over twelve hours.  Each time she came down from this excruciating position, a stick came across her back.  The guards would remove the prisoner’s clothing and attempted to force Saleema and her pastor to commit adultery.  When they refused, they were again beaten.  The pastor’s son was also arrested, hung upside down in a tree, and nearly beaten to death.  Every day and every night Saleema was tortured.  Her tormentors inflicted unspeakable wounds both physically and emotionally.

Three weeks after Saleema was handed over to the police, the young Muslim girl who had turned her life over to Jesus, Rabeela, was discovered hiding in a woman’s shelter.  Her Muslim parents brought her back to her village where she was publicly executed.  She was only a Christian for a few months but knew well the meaning of being “faithful unto death.” Saleema was charged with the girl’s death.  The judge found her guilty on two counts, 1> for proselytizing a Muslim girl, and 2> causing the events leading up to the girl’s execution.


“The kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men (and women) lay hold of it.” – Matthew 11:12

Writing that you may, against all odds, lay hold of TRUE life-



story by Tom White VOM, edited/arranged by Matt Papa