I have been “collecting” the stories of people who became followers of Jesus from all sorts of different backgrounds, including different religious backgrounds. Some of the more interesting and compelling stories are from former Muslims.
In addition, the same coercive practices that grew Islam in the previous centuries are in operation today. While conquest isn’t broadly practiced as it was in previous centuries, strong prohibitions exist in predominantly Muslim countries and areas that inhibit people from leaving Islam. Families disown former Muslims and, in extreme cases, kill them. Those same inhibitions extend even into the west where the same cultural influences discourage leaving Islam or denouncing Islam.
For that reason, the testimonies of Muslims who become followers of Jesus Christ are remarkable and poignant. Afshin Ziafat’s story is such an example. His father disowned him immediately when Afshin admitted that he has become a Christian as a young man in Houston. The decision cost him his father and his family.
One of the hallmarks of the Muslim turned Christian phenomenon of the 21st Century is the way in which so many former Muslims become Christians. A very high percentage of those stories include experiences like visions and dreams of Jesus. Even Islamic radicals and ISIS jihadists have had these experiences that changed their lives. You can watch them tell their stories in their own words on the Muslim testimony page and Muslim/ISIS testimony page.
Nabeel Qureshi was raised in a devout Muslim family in Virginia Beach, VA. He memorized the Qur’an by the age of 6 and prayed five times a day. When he went to college, his college roommate was a Christian. They spent three years debating the historical claims of both religions, and he came to realize that Christianity could withstand historical scrutiny but Islam could not.
At that point, he came face to face with a a difficult, life-changing decision: whether to abandon the Islam of his family and and heritage by embracing Christianity, or remain a Muslim, knowing that it could not stand up to history and reason. This was a decision that would ostracize him from his family. Continue reading “Reach out to our Muslim neighbors”→
The Wheaton College incident involving a professor who put on a bourka and professed that Christians and Muslims worship the same God has sparked much controversy, debate and discussion. The College has put her on paid leave and is still trying to decide her fate, having made a statement that seems fundamentally at odds with the evangelical creed to which the College subscribes.
In the United States, where minority rights are championed and “tolerance” is preached, the public consensus seems solidly in favor of the sympathetic professor. A different sentiment prevails in the Middle East, however. “Among Muslims and Christians in the Middle East, the discussion is not over whether we worship the same God,” one Arab Christian said, “but rather Muslims challenging us that we worship one God at all.”
If a similar controversy were to arise in a predominantly Islamic country, the atmosphere would likely be much different. Debate would likely be replaced by one-sided polemics, public spectacle and, perhaps, the death of the “heretic”. But, the differences in cultural response do not address the fundamental question: Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God?
I am going to do something a little different in this blog. I often weave other people’s presentations and thinking into my articles, but, in this one, I am going to lay out another’s person’s presentation in its entirety.
No one topic, perhaps, in all the world today has demanded more of the world’s attention than the happenings involving radical Islamic terrorists. This article is not going to attack Muslims; neither is it going to defend them. Rather, if you will listen to each of the segments, it will help you to understand Islam and Christianity in comparison to each other from the viewpoint of a man raised a devout Muslim of Islamic missionary parents.