Some time ago I wasn’t contacted by the leadership of Voice of the Martyrs based here in Seoul, Korea. This morning I presented the graduation address (or commencement speech, as they call it in the USA) to a group of North Korean Christians and guests. Three of them had completed the six-month discipleship program, two of them were being commissioned as missionaries, and two had completed the full three-year program called Underground University.
The bible text is Ephesians 3:1–6. It is presented in English with ongoing translation to Korean. The graphs I reference are found here.
Here is the audio, and as always your questions or comments are welcome.
As a follow up of that interview, he interviewed me recently for his podcast. Listen to the whole interview here and check out the other resources at his blog. I really enjoyed talking with Stephen and I think you’ll enjoy the podcast.
Some years ago while completing my research for a PhD I interviewed Farifteh Robb. That led to the publication of a brief article titled “The Secret World of God: Aesthetics, Relationships, and the conversion of ‘Frances’ from Shi’a Islam to Christianity” in Global Missiology. At that time Robb was not discussing her history publicly, but I’m glad that she decided to do so.
This books brings a welcome contribution to the growing literature by converts from Islam to Christianity. Robb’s strong background in literature allows her to reference great authors and work in a way that other converts cannot. The fact that she ended up in Anglican Christianity as opposed to evangelical or charismatic Christianity is also rare for such conversion narratives. My favorite thing about the book was reading her personal recollections of what life was like in Tehran before, during and after the 1979 revolution.
Finally, the author has a light and witty style. Her sense of humor is much appreciated.
Photo by AMISOM Public Information – Flickr, CC0, Link Mogadishu, Somalia
I recently attended a consultation in East Africa. Our goal was to formulate a strategy for evangelizing the unreached of East Africa and the Horn Africa, almost all Muslims. This talk was my own contribution to the consultation and was well received. It is an expansion of an earlier talk I gave in November of 2017.
I begin by arguing that persecution is not the main pastoral challenge for converts, rather is the formation of a firm, new Christian identity. I found this in my own research presented in Living among the Breakage (2016), and earlier research by Kathryn Kraft (2013) and Seppo Syrjänen (1984) contain similar findings.
Here I present ten points that can be used for people counseling and providing guidance for Christ’s converts from Islam:
More Muslims have converted to the Way of Jesus Christ in the last four decades than in all the other years since the advent of Islam in the 7th Century. Something is certainly happening among Muslims and there is an openness in their society that was not there before. It’s also important to note that large numbers of nominal Christians, especially in Europe, are converting to Islam–a main reason being so they can marry Muslim women. Who has more converts? Not sure about that. I will say that Muslims converting to Christianity often pay a heavy price in terms of persecution, and that Westerners converting to Islam are afforded generous protection by their governments.
But here is the question: why are some Muslims attracted to the way of Jesus Christ? Here are some of the main reasons…