A Problem When Muslims Convert to Christianity

A Problem When Muslims Convert to Christianity April 9, 2024

Yesterday we blogged about the surge in adult baptisms in France.  As many as 10-20% of those are reportedly coming from former Muslims who are converting to Christianity.  But sometimes the legacy of interfaith dialogue, in which Christians are urged to accept Islam as an equally valid religion, is driving away them away!

We’ve blogged extensively about the phenomenon of Muslims turning to Christ, and how confessional Lutherans in Germany and Scandinavia are reaping that harvest.

This is happening in France also, but some Catholic parishes don’t know how to respond.  The National Catholic Register has published an article by Boom in Muslim Conversions to Christianity in France: How Is the Church Responding? with the deck, “This little-documented phenomenon is forcing dioceses to deploy new pastoral services to better welcome these converts, who often have difficulty integrating into their new Catholic communities.”

The Archdiocese of Paris finally secured the help of Father Ramzi Saadé, an Arab priest of the Maronite Church in Lebanon, which is in fellowship with Rome.  He identified a major problem that was causing some converts to leave the Catholic church:

“I realized that many new converts from Islam had left the Catholic Church, not because the faithful were unkind to them, but because they often want to show themselves so favorable to Islam that they come to explain that we worship the same God and that, in the end, there’s no need to become a Christian to access salvation,” said Father Saadé, stressing that this misguided approach concerned both clergymen and laypeople.

“Yet many of those who join Christ do so at the risk of their lives: Some have left their countries, have been rejected by their families; they are in real danger — the last thing they need is to be sent back to their Muslim identity.”

In his view, the interreligious dialogue implemented by Church authorities over the past decades, which has been very beneficial for the mutual understanding of cultures and peoples, can also sometimes be a source of misunderstandings about the duty of Christians in the West to announce.

“Many people of Islamic origin arriving in a parish to become Christians are often welcomed in a way unsuited to their situations, as if they were still Muslim when in fact they are no longer,” he continued.

“The search for consensual dialogue is a typically Western approach,” explained the reporter, citing Fr. Saadé,  “not often understood by Eastern Arabic culture.”  He went on to observe, “If we Christians are ashamed of our identity, we will disappear in the face of an expansionist Islam in the West that forces us to question ourselves.”

The ecumenical movement of the 20th century tried to reduce Christianity to a lowest common denominator according to which all Christian traditions are accepted as equally valid.  This has been succeeded in the 21st century by the interfaith movement, according to which all of the world’s religions are accepted as equally valid.

But the interfaith movement amounts to a relativism–if not a polytheism–that guts all religions of their content.  This is certainly true of Christianity, which must give up the claims of Christ, the First Commandment, the Trinity, the Gospel, and evangelism, among other things.

 

Illustration:  Interfaith Banner by Sean, via Flickr, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

 

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