Profile of Muslim converts & their church

The Atlantic has a profile of Muslim converts in Germany, with special emphasis on the congregations they are attending.  The focus is on Trinity Lutheran Church in Berlin, a SELK congregation in fellowship with the LCMS. The pastor, Gottfried Martens, studied at Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

They have around 1,000 baptized members who are ex-Muslims, with 300 on a waiting list, apparently being catechized.  (The Atlantic reporter doesn’t quite understand Lutheranism.  It’s kind of amusing to see how she describes catechism and her confusion about crossing herself.  But kudos to her and also to her publication for significantly ramping up its religion coverage.)  The story describes Germans and ex-Muslims (who outnumber the former) having tea after service, their children playing together, all taking part in the normal workings of a congregation.
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Suspect in mall shootings arrested

On Friday, someone shot up a Macy’s make-up counter in Burlington, Washington, killing four women–aged 16 to 95–and a man.  A suspect has been arrested:  20-year-old Arcan Cetin, a Muslim from Turkey.  He has a record of assaulting his step-father, drunk driving, and selling drugs.  Police say they don’t yet know a motive, but they aren’t ruling out terrorism.

So surely this couldn’t be Islamic terrorism, some might say.  This guy is certainly not a good Muslim, what with his indulgence in forbidden substances and disrespect for his father.

But acts of jihad often grow out of a guilty conscience, a way to achieve self-atonement and forgiveness for one’s sins. [Read more…]

Where Christianity is growing the fastest

The world’s fastest growing church is that of IRAN.

Despite–or maybe because of–horrific persecution, the number of Christians in Iran has shot up from around 500 in 1979 to hundreds of thousands, maybe over a million, today.  More people have become Christians in the last 20 years than have done so in the 13 centuries of Islamic domination combined.

In second place: AFGHANISTAN.

So reports Mark Howard and his sources, excerpted and linked after the jump.

All of which is instructive for us depressed and discouraged American Christians.  If God can build His church in lands of such anti-Christian hostiity as Iran and Afghanistan, He can build it here.  And if those Christians can live out their faith in the face of such powerful cultural opposition and government-sponsored persecution, with our far smaller problems, we can too.

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“How terrible for him to lose his bomb”

Writing for the British Spectator blog, Douglas Murray discusses Europe’s summer of terrorism and has some choice words for journalists and politicians who are in denial about its connection to Islam. [Read more…]

Pro-democracy coup in Turkey fails

Turkey has a tradition of practicing a more moderate type of Islam with a more secular government than other middle eastern states.  Thus, secular is one of the few Islamic countries with a long-standing democracy.  So not all Turks are happy with the government of President Erdogan, who, though democratically elected has become more and more authoritarian and seeks to impose Sharia law.

Last weekend, parts of the military staged a coup attempt, promising a restoration of democracy, human rights, and freedom.  But Erdogan called for the people to go to the streets, and they did.  With the help of police and the Turkish military that did not support the coup, the insurrection was crushed.  Thousands have been arrested.

Erdogan is blaming the coup on a moderate, pro-Western cleric named Fethullah Gulen, who has many followers–dubbed “Gulenists”–in Turkey.  Gulen, who denies involvement, has been living in Pennsylvania since 1999.  Erdogan is demanding that the United States arrest him and extradite him back to Turkey.

In principle, we might wish for a new  non-Islamist government to take over. Then again, Erdogan was democratically elected and is the lawful President of the country.  President Obama denounced the coup attempt and expressed his support for Erdogan, which I guess the world’s governments are obliged to do.  Even though Turkey might be an example of a democracy voting to end democracy. [Read more…]

Are Christians responsible for the Orlando shooting?

The left is blaming Christians for the Orlando attack on gays and lesbians, while defending Islam.  Even though the attacker himself said that he acted in the name of Islam.  David French explores this odd pattern of accusation and defense. [Read more…]