“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” – John 15:13
In the words above, Jesus said that there was no greater example of love than someone who is willing to lay down their life for another.
In a true-life example of Scripture, it was not a Christian, but a Muslim cleric who offered to give his own life in order to save the lives of 262 Christians in order to protect them from Jihadis.
An 83-year-old Muslim cleric has been honored by the U.S. with the 2019 International Religious Freedom Award for his efforts in saving 262 Christians from Jihadist attackers in central Nigeria.
Imam Abubakar Abdullahi was awarded the 2019 International Religious Freedom Award which is given to advocates of religious freedom. The prestigious award was also given to four other religious leaders from Sudan, Iraq, Brazil, and Cyprus.
In the attacks and raids on villages, more than 80 people were killed. The herders suspected of the attacks also set fire to many homes. While the herdsmen were mostly Muslims, the farmers they attacked were predominantly Christians.
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others.” – Philippians 2:4
Imam Abubakar Abdullahi offered his home and mosque as a safe house for Christians who were fleeing attacks made by Muslim herdsmen on 10 villages in the Barkin Ladi area of Plateau State on June 23, 2018.
“The imam gave refuge to his Christian neighbors, sheltering 262 Christians in his mosque and his home,” said Sam Brownback, International Religious Freedom Ambassador said at the awards ceremony in Washington, DC.
“[The imam] then stood outside the doors confronting the Muslim attackers, pleading with them to spare the lives of the Christians inside, even offering to exchange his own life for theirs,” Brownback said.
“His actions bear witness to true courage, true selflessness, and true brotherly love,” he said.
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” – Ephesians 5:1-2