Muslims tasting the love of Jesus and embracing Christianity all over the globe
- Category: Islam
No one can deny that over the past several years, millions of Muslims worldwide have converted to Christianity. Once they taste His love, they soon sense that real freedom can be found only in Christ.
Many missionary organizations, including Bibles for Mideast, engage in evangelism to Muslims. Out of concern for the security and safety of new converts in some regions, we cannot publish all the details. Even the converts themselves often must resort to secrecy to survive.
This concern over safety proves the greatest complication in assessing the number of Muslims converting to Christianity in Islamic nations, according to Albert W. Hickman of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity.
"Many of these converts keep their new faith a secret. Some of them are fairly isolated, not knowing any other Christians," he noted.
"Others are part of house churches that consist exclusively of secret converts. These individual house churches can be part of networks that are quite extensive, although most individual members might be unaware of exactly how extensive."
Violence against Christian converts is connected to the rising tide of violence against Christians in the Islamic world, according to persecution watchdog group Open Doors USA.
The website Muslim Statistics reports that “A major Christian syndication has provided video evidence to us from their user data around the world which proves that a massive 350 million Muslims live their outward lives as Muslims, on the surface, but have secretly converted to Christianity” (article here).
In December 2001, Sheikh Ahmad al Qataani, a leading Saudi cleric, appeared on a live interview on Al-Jazeerah satellite television to confirm that, sure enough, Muslims were turning to Jesus in alarming numbers.
"In every hour, 667 Muslims convert to Christianity," Al Qataani warned. "Every day, 16,000 Muslims convert to Christianity. Every year, 6 million Muslims convert to Christianity."
Stunned, the interviewer interrupted the cleric. "Hold on! Let me clarify. Do we have six million converting from Islam to Christianity?" Al Qataani repeated his assertion. "Every year." The interview has since been removed from Al-Jazeerah’s website, but you can both view and read it in its entirety here.
Thousands and thousands have turned to Christ in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Pakistan, Maldives, Egypt, Morocco, Libya, Tanzania, Cambodia, Somalia and many other Asian and African countries. Bibles for Mideast has about 150 gospel teams ministering in different Asian, African and Middle Eastern nations. Out of those, 20 are led by women, and many Muslim women convert because of these women evangelists.
A vast number of Muslims who have turned to Christ in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, Jordan and Palestine now worship in underground house churches. We hear many miracles of healing, deliverance and even resurrections from the dead.
Some members of ruling Arabian families have come to faith in Jesus as Lord and face persecutions such as house arrest or imprisonment (see Royal Family members believe in Jesus, now face death threats and prison).
While there were only 17 Christian converts from Islam in Afghanistan in 2001, more than 250,000 believers now exist. Hundreds of baptisms happen every week.
In 1990, there were merely three known Christians in Kazakhstan and none in Uzbekistan. Now more than 250,000 worship Jesus in Kazakhstan, and 350, 000 in Uzbekistan. In 1979 there were fewer than 500 Christians in Iran. Since then, millions of Iranians have come to believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior, most meeting in underground house churches.
In Sudan, despite a radical Islamic regime and an ongoing genocide that has killed more than 200,000, more than one million have converted since 2000, and some five million have become Christians since the early 1990s. Seminaries are being held in caves to train pastors to shepherd the huge numbers of people coming to Christ. Why such a dramatic spiritual awakening?
"People have seen real Islam, and they want Jesus instead," a Sudanese evangelical leader reports.
One of the most dramatic developments is that many Muslims—including Shiites in Iran and Iraq—are having dreams and visions of Jesus, and thus are coming into churches explaining that they have already converted and now need a bible and guidance on how to follow Jesus. This is the fulfillment of biblical prophecy from the book of Joel:
In the last days, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.... And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved. (Joel 2:28-32)
Even though persecution against Christians in Bangladesh is on the rise, so too is the number of Muslims converting to Christianity.
“When I began my ministry in Kurigram, there was only one Christian family with a Muslim background,” says Pastor Faruk of Bangladesh, who converted to Christianity from Islam in 1995. “Now, almost 1,500 believers from Muslim backgrounds are glorifying God in this area.” As many as 100,000 Muslims across Bangladesh have converted to Christianity in the last six years.
“Persecution will come more, but the believers and I are ready to face it," Pastor Faruk added.
In India, millions of Muslims are choosing to follow Christ and now face hardships and persecutions.
A large number of Muslim refugees in Europe from Syria, Iran and Afghanistan have also converted to Christianity, with some churches conducting mass baptisms.
"I've been spat on and told that I've betrayed Islam,” confessed a Syrian refugee baptized as a Christian in Germany. “But through what I've learned, I can forgive them."
"In Islam, we always lived in fear. Fear of God, fear of sin, fear of punishment. However, Christ is a God of love," an Iranian refugee reported in Switzerland.
"I've been looking all my life for peace and happiness, but in Islam, I have not found it," added Shima, another Iranian refugee.
In Austria there were at least 300 applications for adult christenings in the first three months of 2016 alone, with up to 70 percent of those said to be refugees.
“Within a few years all of the Muslim nations will come to Christ by the work of the Holy Spirit,” Pastor Paul of Bibles for Mideast, himself a former Muslim, says with conviction. “Satan knows it, that's why he tries to discourage and destroy the Christian workers and the believers through terrorism, persecution and brutal murdering. But our Lord Jesus will have the final victory.”
Since making that statement, Pastor Paul was again a victim of radical terrorists and is still recovering (those stories here: Despite persecution, more than 3000 former Muslims baptized, Stoned by terrorists, protected by a lion!, Prayer support still desperately needed for Pastor Paul and family).
Idris, another pastor with Bibles for Mideast, reports that countless ordinary Muslims, witnessing the brutal behavior of fanatics and terrorists towards Christians, are turning secretly to Christianity.
Please keep this ministry and its workers in your prayers! We so appreciate your ongoing interest and support. If you would like to submit your own prayer request, please use the form here. If you are able to support the work of Bibles for Mideast, please use our secure donations page.
Why I left Islam to follow Jesus
- Category: Islam
Former Muslim Nabeel Qureshi explains how his search for the truth about Jesus in scripture led to his conversion.
Contrast is the mother of clarity. So says author Os Guinness, and this principle is what ultimately led me away from Islam and towards the gospel.
As a young Muslim in the West, our community very intentionally defended me against Christianity, the majority religion. The first verses of the Koran that I and the other young children at our mosque memorised proclaimed that God is neither Father nor Son (based on Surah 112:3).
Traditions informed us that this teaching makes up a third of the Koran (Sahih Muslim 812), so we recited it every day. By the age of six, I had recited, ‘God is not a Father, God is not a Son’ thousands of times. It is no wonder I became a bold opponent of the Trinity.
We were also taught that Muhammad was God’s greatest messenger; the most perfect man who ever lived. We learnt the story of his life and did our utmost to follow it. We emulated him to such a degree that we even attempted to walk into the lavatory the way he did. The reverence we accorded him was barely secondary to our reverence for Allah.
Although Islam teaches that the Bible and the Koran originated from God, we were effectively instructed that they were polar opposites: the Bible has been polluted, the Koran remains pristine; the Bible is partially the word of man, the Koran is purely the word of God; the Bible contains contradictions, the Koran is completely coherent; the Bible leads to confusion, the Koran leads to life.
So, as a young Muslim I ardently called others to the way of Islam. I was certain of its truth. My confidence in Islam translated into zeal for Allah, Muhammad, the Koran and sharia. But contrast is the mother of clarity.
DOUBTING THE KORAN
I met a young Christian named David, and we quickly became firm friends due to our common morals and devotion. The time came when I challenged him on the reliability of the Bible, and I had finally met someone who was equipped to defend his faith.
Ultimately, he challenged me to contrast the history of the Bible with that of the Koran. It was then that I discovered there had been so much dispute over the Koran early in its history that an official edict established one standard Koran and ordered all the rest destroyed (Sahih Bukhari 6:61:509-510). There was no occasion for the Bible to have been officially altered throughout Christendom, but there was certainly occasion for the Koran to have been modified throughout the House of Islam, and records remain of old variants that testify to former versions.
Though I doubted the reliability of the Gospels, written in the lifetime of Jesus’ disciples, the entire edifice of the Sirah (various traditional Muslim biographies of Muhammad) rested on accounts from 150-250 years after his death. The earliest account of Muhammad’s life is only known to us because one devout Muslim preserved it, and he uses no uncertain words to say that what he received contained fabrications and false reports (Ibn Hisham, who edited Ibn Ishaq’s Sirah Rasul Allah).
By contrast, the case for Jesus’ death, deity and resurrection was very strong, built on early records that were most coherently explained by orthodox Christian positions. It was through this contrast that matters became clear.
THE CASE FOR CRUCIFIXION
While still contemplating these issues as a Muslim, I attended a debate between a Christian called Michael Licona and a Muslim called Shabir Ally on the topic of Jesus’ resurrection. A trend in Ally’s thinking emerged through the course of the debate, and what I saw shook me.
Multiple ancient sources report Jesus’ death by crucifixion, including Jewish, Gentile, and Christian records. These reports are so numerous and the surrounding circumstances so clear that even atheist and agnostic scholars say Jesus’ crucifixion is among the surest facts of history. But with excessive scepticism, one can deny anything. Ally advanced the koranic view of Jesus: that, despite all the reports, Jesus did not die by crucifixion.
But what reason is there to stand by the koranic claims about Jesus when all the other records disagree? The Koran was written 600 years after Jesus and 600 miles away. The only reason to believe the Koran is an a priori faith in Islam. That is why only Muslim scholars deny Jesus’ death by crucifixion. Ally was very sceptical with the Christian case but not nearly as critical of the Islamic perspective. No contrast, just one-sided criticism.
REACHING MUSLIMS TODAY
That was 2004, and I continue to see the same trend among proselytising Muslims today: constant criticism of Christianity in the face of rather uncritical acceptance of Islam. I see many young men zealously championing Islam, and they remind me endearingly and dishearteningly of my younger self. I see them as sincere, honest, devout young men who usually haven’t seen an equal treatment of these two faiths.
Is there no one to befriend them, as David befriended me? Is anyone praying for them, as David’s church prayed for me? Is anyone loving them as Jesus would, with both compassion and truth?
Through dialogue, these young men, precious to God, might come to see that the Christian view of Jesus is much earlier, more coherent, and better evidenced than the Muslim view of Jesus. They might come to see that Islam is built on much weaker foundations than Christianity. In turn, they might stop leading people away from Jesus and instead become evangelists for the gospel. It happened to me, and it can happen to them.