Report: Susanna Perry-Ettel
No one can deny that over the past several years, millions of Muslims worldwide have converted to Christianity. Once they taste His love, they soon sense that real freedom can be found only in Christ.
Many missionary organizations, including Bibles for Mideast, engage in evangelism to Muslims. Out of concern for the security and safety of new converts in some regions, we cannot publish all the details. Even the converts themselves often must resort to secrecy to survive.
This concern over safety proves the greatest complication in assessing the number of Muslims converting to Christianity in Islamic nations, according to Albert W. Hickman of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity.
"Many of these converts keep their new faith a secret. Some of them are fairly isolated, not knowing any other Christians," he noted.
"Others are part of house churches that consist exclusively of secret converts. These individual house churches can be part of networks that are quite extensive, although most individual members might be unaware of exactly how extensive."
Violence against Christian converts is connected to the rising tide of violence against Christians in the Islamic world, according to persecution watchdog group Open Doors USA.
The website Muslim Statistics reports that “A major Christian syndication has provided video evidence to us from their user data around the world which proves that a massive 350 million Muslims live their outward lives as Muslims, on the surface, but have secretly converted to Christianity” (article here).
In December 2001, Sheikh Ahmad al Qataani, a leading Saudi cleric, appeared on a live interview on Al-Jazeerah satellite television to confirm that, sure enough, Muslims were turning to Jesus in alarming numbers.
"In every hour, 667 Muslims convert to Christianity," Al Qataani warned. "Every day, 16,000 Muslims convert to Christianity. Every year, 6 million Muslims convert to Christianity."
Stunned, the interviewer interrupted the cleric. "Hold on! Let me clarify. Do we have six million converting from Islam to Christianity?" Al Qataani repeated his assertion. "Every year." The interview has since been removed from Al-Jazeerah’s website, but you can both view and read it in its entirety here.
Thousands and thousands have turned to Christ in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Pakistan, Maldives, Egypt, Morocco, Libya, Tanzania, Cambodia, Somalia and many other Asian and African countries. Bibles for Mideast has about 150 gospel teams ministering in different Asian, African and Middle Eastern nations. Out of those, 20 are led by women, and many Muslim women convert because of these women evangelists.
A vast number of Muslims who have turned to Christ in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, Jordan and Palestine now worship in underground house churches. We hear many miracles of healing, deliverance and even resurrections from the dead.
Some members of ruling Arabian families have come to faith in Jesus as Lord and face persecutions such as house arrest or imprisonment (see Royal Family members believe in Jesus, now face death threats and prison).
While there were only 17 Christian converts from Islam in Afghanistan in 2001, more than 250,000 believers now exist. Hundreds of baptisms happen every week.
In 1990, there were merely three known Christians in Kazakhstan and none in Uzbekistan. Now more than 250,000 worship Jesus in Kazakhstan, and 350, 000 in Uzbekistan. In 1979 there were fewer than 500 Christians in Iran. Since then, millions of Iranians have come to believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior, most meeting in underground house churches.
In Sudan, despite a radical Islamic regime and an ongoing genocide that has killed more than 200,000, more than one million have converted since 2000, and some five million have become Christians since the early 1990s. Seminaries are being held in caves to train pastors to shepherd the huge numbers of people coming to Christ. Why such a dramatic spiritual awakening?
"People have seen real Islam, and they want Jesus instead," a Sudanese evangelical leader reports.
One of the most dramatic developments is that many Muslims—including Shiites in Iran and Iraq—are having dreams and visions of Jesus, and thus are coming into churches explaining that they have already converted and now need a bible and guidance on how to follow Jesus. This is the fulfillment of biblical prophecy from the book of Joel:
"In the last days, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.... And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved." (Joel 2:28-32)
Even though persecution against Christians in Bangladesh is on the rise, so too is the number of Muslims converting to Christianity.
“When I began my ministry in Kurigram, there was only one Christian family with a Muslim background,” says Pastor Faruk of Bangladesh, who converted to Christianity from Islam in 1995. “Now, almost 1,500 believers from Muslim backgrounds are glorifying God in this area.” As many as 100,000 Muslims across Bangladesh have converted to Christianity in the last six years.
“Persecution will come more, but the believers and I are ready to face it," Pastor Faruk added.
In India, millions of Muslims are choosing to follow Christ and now face hardships and persecutions.
A large number of Muslim refugees in Europe from Syria, Iran and Afghanistan have also converted to Christianity, with some churches conducting mass baptisms.
"I've been spat on and told that I've betrayed Islam,” confessed a Syrian refugee baptized as a Christian in Germany. “But through what I've learned, I can forgive them."
"In Islam, we always lived in fear. Fear of God, fear of sin, fear of punishment. However, Christ is a God of love," an Iranian refugee reported in Switzerland.
"I've been looking all my life for peace and happiness, but in Islam, I have not found it," added Shima, another Iranian refugee.
In Austria there were at least 300 applications for adult christenings in the first three months of 2016 alone, with up to 70 percent of those said to be refugees.
“Within a few years all of the Muslim nations will come to Christ by the work of the Holy Spirit,” Pastor Paul of Bibles for Mideast, himself a former Muslim, says with conviction. “Satan knows it, that's why he tries to discourage and destroy the Christian workers and the believers through terrorism, persecution and brutal murdering. But our Lord Jesus will have the final victory.”
Since making that statement, Pastor Paul was again a victim of radical terrorists and is still recovering (those stories here: Despite persecution, more than 3000 former Muslims baptized, Stoned by terrorists, protected by a lion!, Prayer support still desperately needed for Pastor Paul and family).
Idris, another pastor with Bibles for Mideast, reports that countless ordinary Muslims, witnessing the brutal behavior of fanatics and terrorists towards Christians, are turning secretly to Christianity.
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