UPDATE NOTICE::: This post was originally a question: “800,000 Converts from Islam?”
I wrote it as a question, because it seemed like a lot to me.
The answer, coming out of “Intentional Disciples” (which had been down when I was trying to research there, for I knew it to be a reasonable site with reasonable numbers on this matter) gives a more reasonable view of things.
From my fellow FT’er, comes news that there are, apparently, 800,000 new Muslim converts to Christianity.
Using Google to translate from Dutch to English, from Katholiek Nieuwsblad:
According to official statistics do not exist, but to Repentance in the Arab and Muslim world there is a big wave of Christianity. Catholic Newspaper quotes from it in the next edition Friday a number of the Muslim leaders are very concerned. “There are a disaster taking place within Islam,” said one of them. “He takes place within Islam a disaster,” says one of them. In a country like Sudan knocks the cruelty of the Islamic regime against Christians off many Muslims. In Sudan as a land of cruelty and shot against the Mohammedan regime Christians off many Muslims. 800,000 of them have become Christians. 800.000 of them became Christians.
In all Arab-Muslim countries is prohibited evangelism and conversion to Christianity is punishable by law. In all the Arabic-Mohammedan evangelism is prohibited and Conversion to Christianity country legally punished. Conversions are therefore not officially registered and many dare not openly come out. In Europe: according to Magdi Allam, the Egyptian Muslim in the Easter Vigil of 2008 was baptized by the pope, the continent is in a “new catacombekerk” created. Repentance leg are therefore not officially registered and many are not openly dare to. Not even in Europe: according to Magdi Allam, Egyptian Moslems, the Easter Vigil in 2008 and was baptized by the Pope, is in the continent “a new catacombekerk created.
Even with the clumsy electronic translation, that seems pretty clear. Though “unofficial” -since conversion to Christianity is punishable by death in much of the Muslim world, including Sudan, where life is very cruel- nearly a million Sudanese Muslims have secretly become Christians. The Easter 2008 baptism of Magdi Allam, by Pope Benedict XVI seems to have been a catalyst for this creation of a new “underground, hidden” church, where these new Christians dare not worship openly.
Let us pray for them, then. The church underground is always the church most vibrantly alive; blessed with heroic faith and watered by the blood of martyrs, it grows deep roots. Something its persecutors never understand. So is the remnant:
The thing about remnants is that they identify themselves after a carpet has been laid or a robe has been cut, not before.
Remnants do not stop a construct from happening…they survive it.
I have read several pieces recently about large numbers of Muslims being “converted” to Christianity after encountering Christ in dreams; the stories are difficult to source, however, given the threatening climate in Islamic countries.
It is interesting is to watch the historical meandering of the Church. Think of where Paul and Peter and the rest began their preaching; those churches no longer exist. Europe is now post-Christian, but the church there is not yet gone; what is not yet dead may yet be revived. Meanwhile, the faith is alive in Asia, in Africa -fresh and sweet, like wheat that springeth green- and the missionaries of the 21st Century are largely coming from those places.
Provocative, when you think about it: a few hundred years ago, many of our early martyrs traveled to distant continents in order to bring the gospel to the “uncivilized” who lacked the polish and material wealth of the West. Now the West is become the “uncivilized” place; we are materially “advanced” but spiritually impoverished. Some of us are barely tame. The missions, most of them still lagging far behind us materially, have yielded missionaries for us. And just in time.
The past is always prologue.