On May 9, 2010, at that church, I was baptized. I wanted to understand the Bible, and many people told me to start with the Book of John. I would read verses and think, Yes, all of this happened to me. This is not just writing, this is not just reading—this is my life on the page. This is true. I am the one lost sheep whom he went out to find.
When I see how good God is, how powerful and close is his Son Jesus Christ who died for me, how this made sense of all my pain and my hate and helped me understand how to forgive myself and others once and for all—often my Bible is wet from my tears. In Jesus I could understand all blame, and all forgiveness. "I saved you," Jesus said. Now, I understand.
Majid John (not his full name) lives with his family in Virginia. In 2011 he received a permanent visa to stay in the United States. Kate Harris is executive director of the Washington Institute.