200,000 Converts from Islam! – UPDATED

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.

END UPDATE:::

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.

Related:
The fearless Oriana Fallaci, an atheist who understood and appreciated Benedict, must be smiling.
Hindu-to-Christian: Dreaming her way to Christ
“They Do Not Love Jesus”

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • http://makarios-makarios.blogspot.com makarios

    thank you. very encouraging

  • dry valleys

    Always good to see people turning away from Islam, which for too long has held back potentially wealthy & civilised countries (in particular, Iran, a suffering land which had a real chance before the clerical fascists got hold of it). But I don’t share your enthusiasm at people becoming Christian, I have to say!

    I don’t think there ever will be a Muslim majority in the west as I think firstly that they will eventually slow down their birthrate as they become materially better off (this is happening throughout the world, even in the very poorest places which have traditionally been home to huge families) & will become more secularised. But it is one of the reasons why I oppose immigration that immigrants tend to have far more socially conservative attitudes (this also includes many very devout Christians from parts of Africa & so on who are the pillars of a lot of churches in multi-ethnic areas).

    It is strange that immigration policy is one of the few areas where I disagree with the standard liberal line, whereas in your case it’s one of the only ways in which you’re not conventionally “right-wing”. Yet, I think we’re both right to take the stands we do, in terms of what we want society to be. When you say “Europe is now post-Christian, but the church there is not yet gone; what is not yet dead may yet be revived” then it might be the recent arrivals who do this.

    Many secularists I read lament the fact that 20 or 30 years ago, religion barely came into politics, but it is now strong. The charge was spearheaded by Islam, but in addition to this there has been a Christian response- I think the likes of Stephen Green have consciously or unconsciously taken influence from the way Islam asserts itself.

    I have also taken issues with those who form an anti-Muslim (not anti-Islam, there is a difference) alliance with Hindus & Sikhs. Because both those religions have fundamentalist elements that are just as objectionable as Islamic fundamentalists, so I consider that secularism is best, in which the state is neutral. I oppose, for example, the current government funding for religious schools in Britain. There are now demands for Islamic schools being funded by the taxpayer, & why not if we have Catholic & Anglican schools being funded by the taxpayer? So I would say that it’s best to withdraw, but also not to persecute religions as the USSR did & many Islamist countries do.

    We can learn something from France, which is much more successful in integrating minorities, but I did disagree with their banning of the hijab- while it’s undoubtedly a nasty & offensive garment, I regard Sarkozy’s schemes as unworkable & counterproductive.

    [The injection of religion into politics got a hefty boost in the 1970's when radical Islam began to emerge and focus on attacking embassies, etc, and when evangelical Christians began to react to liberal policies and (probably more accurately) activist courts. Now...everything is pretty messed up. How's that for my intelligent analysis of the day? :-) I'm fried from over-reading today -admin]

  • Amie

    One of the most inspiring evangelists is the Coptic priest Father Zakaria Boutrous. He uses the internet, television, his knowledge of Islam to convert many, many people to Christ. His brother was martyred and it’s a miracle he’s alive. Please pray for his ministry and safety.

  • Joe Odegaard

    These are the big underground currents almost never noticed but very important. Like Gorbachev telling of his devotion to St. Francis: operating for years, unknown and important.

  • http://victor-undergo.blogspot.com/ Victor

    It is great to hear that more people are converting to Christianity but personally speaking I think that we must pray that each and everyone of our spiritual cells of the day learn all to follow and not just fallow Christ’ basic teachings.

    sinner vic keeps reminding me that I’ll soon be 66 and I hate those numbers for some reason and I pray everyday that he gives me a little peace of mind and stops reminding me that some spiritual cells will blow UP if we don’t stop laughing at him. :(

    sinner vic also says that for those who don’t believe that spiritual cells are not that powerful, he simply wants to remind them of the time just before Moses came down from His Holy Mountain with “God’s Ten Commandments” for His Chosen People. He had only been gone for about forty days and do you think that their jealous cells had nothing to do with the new so called god that they had created.

    Just a little something to think about Anchoress and that’s “IT” for me! :)

    Peace

  • Sherry Weddell

    I hate to be the one to burst people’s bubble but I’m in touch with the major networks of missionary news and statistics and nothing on this scale is being reported for Muslims in Sudan.

    Arab World Ministries puts it this way:

    “Estimates of Sudanese Muslims who have become Christians range from 200 to 2000. With decades of prayer and nearly fruitless ministry behind, a harvest among Northern Sudanese Muslims seems to be beginning.”

    Operation World sums it up this way:

    “The population in the north is largely Sunni Muslim, though among them are 300,000 or more Coptic Christians and maybe 2 million southern Christians displaced by war. Sufi religious orders are strong – especially Ansar, followers of the famous Mahdi. A small but increasing number have become Christians – disillusioned by Islam and attracted to Jesus. There are probably some thousands of these. There are reports of whole villages turning to Christ. Pray that their numbers may increase. There is a remarkable openness among many.”

    So there have been some conversions but maybe 2,000 – which is really significant but not 800,000.

    The source of these numbers, Joel Rosenberg, is an evangelical who writes popular thriller novels. His numbers are greatly exaggerated. (I don’t know where he got them.)

    There are really significant numbers of Muslims becoming Christians in the past 20 -30 years – but not numbers like this. The largest numbers that I have ever seen reported are tens of thousands – which is staggering – if you know the history of Muslim missions.

    When you hear suspiciously large, rounded numbers like this – millions or hundreds of thousands of Muslims becoming Christians – always check out the numerous evangelical missionary resources online – Joshua report, Operation World, or some of the agencies focusing on the Muslim world.

    Cause chances are, the numbers are wildly inflated.

    [Not bursting my bubble. I did put a question mark at the end of the header! :-) Nevertheless, I do earnestly pray for all converts who must hide their faith -admin]

  • Islam Lover

    Well, sounds an interesting article, with no basis to it. The author cites no credible study, just wishful thinking.
    Infact more people enter Islam FROM Christianity each year, making Islam the fastest growing faith in the world.
    All the Prophets, including Jesus, Moses and Abraham, preached the Oneness of God. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) also came with the same message of monotheism.
    Thus, to obtain peace and purpose in this life and eternal paradise, we need to following the message of monotheism and the last testament = Quran, the word of God.

    May God guide and bless us all.

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  • Rhinestone Suderman

    With all due respect, Islam lover, I think I’ll stay with Christ, and the G-d of the Torah, and Mt. Sinai. They’re the only ones who can give true peace, and purpose.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    And may G-d have mercy on all converts who must hide their faith.

  • Susan K.

    FYI, the Body of Christ just set aside November 8 to recognize the persecuted church worldwide. The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church is an annual day of observance to come together to hear a sermon and prayer services that particularly focus on the Suffering Church.

  • dymphna

    I don’t believe it.

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  • dry valleys

    Slightly O/T but I would like to point out this interview with Neda’s boyfriend that has just been published.

    With regards to “Islam Lover”. I must snarkily point out that the Muslim world is hardly a roaring success on most indicators, so Islam can’t be that good.

    I know a fair few Muslims. Most strike me as not being particularly observant, though they all eat halal food & drink no alcohol (imagine that, eh?) They, like most of the Chrtistians of my acquaintance, actually take little interest in their religion in terms of reading about theology & so on, something I find confusing because were I to have a religion I would try to be like the commentors here & keep myself thoroughly informed. (Although I imagine if they became atheists they’d hardly be talking about it to their parents, or to their neighbours if they lived in heavily Asian areas, so it might be that they’ve stopped believing without making a song & dance about it).

    But I have just thought that it would be of interest if there were a sort of resident Muslim commentor at blogs like this. You have at least one atheist, a Buddhist (as much as I haven’t noticed him for a bit, regrettably) & Protestants. I wonder what other frontiers will be crossed :)

    [We have LOTS of Protestants here, and several Jews, don't forget (including one reading from Israel!). But yes, I've been wondering where Joseph is, and hoping he's alright, too. -admin]

  • Joe Odegaard

    I.L.

    Your religion, in the 21st century, produces this. Why?

  • waltj

    I personally know several former Muslims who have converted to Christianity here in Indonesia. Interestingly, to me at least, all claim to have made the decision to do so on their own, with no active proselytizing by any church or individual. Each said something to the effect that they found large gaps between what they heard at the mosque and what they saw with their own eyes. In other words, they got tired of being lied to, and decided to look closer at Christianity. All liked what they saw and decided to “join the team”, whether that team happened to be Catholic or Protestant.

    So, I have no idea what the total number of Christian converts from Islam in Indonesia is (in all likelihood, probably not that many), but some is better than none, and the ones that I know appear very happy with their new faith. And even better, none has been threatened nor has had to cut their ties with their families and friends. That enables them to be living examples for those that remain trapped in the unwholesome embrace of Islam.

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  • Sherry Weddell

    Waltj:

    I too have meet Muslim background Christians in Indonesia – including Catholic priests! There has actually been quite a movement in Indonesia. There are little evangelical “churches” in strip malls all over Jakarta.

    It is estimated that 17% of Indonesia is Christian now. The number of evangelicals has quadrupled over the past 40 years. I haven’t seen any figures on how many are former Muslims.

    Catholicism and Protestantism are both officially recognized faiths in Indonesia along with Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism.

  • waltj

    “…Catholicism and Protestantism are both officially recognized faiths in Indonesia along with Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism.”

    Right, Catholicism (Katolik) and Protestantism (Kristen or Protestan) are recognized as separate religions under the Indonesian “Pancasila” system, where it is officially illegal for a citizen to not claim a religion. “Chinese religion” (Taoism/Confucianism) was recently added to the recognized faiths.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Christians did make up over 15% of the population here. I’ve seen a good number of small churches–again, Catholic and Protestant–out in fairly isolated areas of Central Java, as well as the strip mall churches you described in Jakarta. Somebody has to be attending them, and it’s not “bules” (Westerners) like me.

  • EllKay

    Look up Walid Shoebat. He is a former Palestinian terrorist and Koranic scholar, now evangelical Christian. He has some interesting things to say about Islam, including his assertion that it is the religion of the anti-christ and figures heavily in end times prophesies. Research bears this out in the writings of many other scholars on the subject. Don’t believe me – go look into it yourselves.

  • Sherry Weddell

    Waltj:

    Of course, you know that “bules” is a really derogatory word for Indonesians – a reference to their not loved Dutch masters. My hosts were horrified that I knew it and had some idea what it meant.

    A mischievous Aussie told me that it meant “white buffalo” but the faces of my hosts told me that was only half the story.


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