في الكنيسة المسيحية في مدريد ،٥ \٢٠١٩
A paragraph from my latest article:
It is common for apostates from Islam, and especially for converts to Christianity, to be construed as betraying their people. This reality comes across quite clearly in the many autobiographical books written by CMBs, that there was a genuine struggle for them in formulating and explaining that while they had left Islam, they were still loyal citizens of their nation. The intention of the two pastors in selecting Church history was, I suspect, to provide the CMBs with the historical resources whereby an intelligent and informed answer could be given to the question, “Why have you betrayed your people by leaving 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…
Read the rest of my article at the New Wineskins blog.
I enjoyed being interviewed for this podcast, which is hosted over at Episcopal Cafe. Check it out and share it with others.
The folks of the Lausanne Movement recently have let us know about what appears to be a valuable, new book: Identity Crisis: Religious Registration in the Middle East (Gilead Books, 2016) by Jonathan Andrews (likely a pseudonym, I’m guessing).
The books addresses an important issue I noted on multiple occasions in Living among the Breakage, especially in my chapter on liberation theology in the texts of ex-Muslim Christians (Chapter 5).
I have not yet read the book, but I did read the Lausanne synopsis which looks promising. Here is a section from that synopsis:
It is often claimed that Islam is a religion of peace. What is meant by ‘peace’? Armed conflict can be stopped by one party surrendering unconditionally to the other. This brings ‘peace’ in the sense of an end to conflict, although the victors are able to impose whatever conditions they choose on the vanquished. It does not guarantee peace in the sense of stable, harmonious, and respectful community relations.
In Egypt, inter-communal strife is often followed by a ‘reconciliation meeting’. In situations involving Christians and Muslims, what typically happens is that Muslims seek draconian terms that marginalise and disadvantage the Christians, irrespective of the rights and wrongs of the situation. In such cases, criminal behaviour is overlooked, even exonerated. Religious registration is at the root of such practices, creating a context in which those who think of themselves as the majority feel that they are entitled to exploit others. The system undermines the rule of law.
This is indeed accurate and happens not only in Egypt but also in Israel-Palestine, and probably elsewhere too. The difficulty is that the system of organizing Muslims under Muslim rule into dhimmis is as old as Islam itself.
Anyway, I’m always happy to hear about new research about the challenges facing ex-Muslim Christians and the issue of religious registration is one of the main ones.
Read the whole Lausanne synopsis HERE.
Al Fadi, from CIRA International, interviews me more on my research on converts from Islam to Christianity. Here is a second installation for his excellent podcast “Let us Reason.”
The first question is about the main challenge faced by ex-Muslim Christians. Guess what? It’s not persecution. If you want to know what it is, listen along. Also, want to hear about what a baptism looks like at an Iranian church? Listen along. Finally, how do congregations of ex-Muslim Christians form new convert identities for their believers? Listen along.
I also talk about our years in Nazareth and the founding of Nazareth Evangelical Theological Seminary (NETS).
The original podcast was issued on January 7th of 2017, but here it is again for all of you. Do visit the website for CIRA International, which stands for The Center of Islamic Research and Awareness.