Why Muslims Are Converting to Christ in the Face of ISIS Atrocities

From ChristianAid.org:

Why Muslims Are Converting to Christ in the Face of ISIS Atrocities
December 04, 2014

Atrocities by the Islamic State (ISIS) are softening the hearts of Muslims to Christianity, and evangelistic techniques and technologies are proving effective, but locally-based missionaries say the main reason for the spike in conversions in the Middle East is simply that former Muslims are finding God is real.

In war-torn areas of Syria and Iraq where ISIS is fighting to establish a caliphate, Muslim refugees to neighboring countries, Internally Displaced People and people remaining at home are learning about Christ from native aid workers, podcasts and broadcasts. Tent churches among refugees are sprouting like mushrooms. For people who have suffered such deep loss, seeing that they can pray to a personal God whom they can call Father has been the critical factor.

“You can see the tears in their eyes when we pray – that God would care,” said the director of one ministry working in the region. “It’s the connection that makes a huge difference.”

Muslims who were previously taught to pray by rote to Allah, who by Koranic definition was unknowable, can feel the difference of having a relationship with God through Christ.

“They see that God can give you strength, can heal you,” said the director. “They say that things have changed, that they have a peaceful attitude towards those ‘who have done this to my kids, wife, or husband - I can pray about it and give it to God.’”

Former Muslims, who once prayed five times a day as a duty, say they don’t quite know how to describe the difference.

"They say, 'Now with our relationship with God, we see a huge difference; something has changed in our life,'” he said. "You can see it on their faces. They say, 'Every time we pray, there’s a difference.'”

The soul-crushing loss of loved ones, home and country that people have suffered at the hands of ISIS has helped open Muslims to the gospel. Another ministry director said Syrian and Iraqi refugees are more open to the gospel than at any time in history because of atrocities by ISIS.

“Absolutely,” he said, “because ISIS is saying that the things they are doing come from the Koran.”

Tailoring evangelism to the Muslim worldview has also played a part, and one way of contextualizing the gospel for Muslims, ironically, involves the Hebrew Scripture. Middle Eastern Muslims are familiar with the blood sacrifice and prophets of the Old Testament, and Christian workers build bridges with those references. They talk about why Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son, animal sacrifice, and the meaning of blood in ancient times, Moses and the saving blood smeared on doorposts in Egypt, and then Jesus’ shed blood.

“So we go from the Old Testament to the blood of Jesus that saves us; 99 percent of the people I know will use this method,” the ministry director said.

The deity of Jesus and the Trinity, by contrast, are the most problematic issues for Muslims. Imparting these doctrines takes time, and although the director and his teams teach the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, he said earthly teachers have little success.

“How do you convince them?” he said. “We were never able to convince them. Only when they read the Bible does it come, and then suddenly they say, 'Now I understand, I get it.'”

Many of those reached are illiterate and receive the Bible and message of salvation by radio – FM, medium wave, shortwave, satellite and internet radio stations – and by digitally stored media on MP3 players. The cost of one MP3 player distributed by the ministry that is assisted by Christian Aid Mission is $30, and they are solar powered, eliminating the need for electricity or batteries.

The gospel is best presented one-on-one rather than in large groups, in order to head off security problems, though witnessing Christ to families of three to five members is also effective. Security, of course, is a huge issue. Last month a ministry director lost one of his team leaders in Syria, a convert from Islam who is survived by his wife and three children. He was beheaded by other relatives.

In Iraq another of his team members was beheaded after ISIS found out a member of a church had visited him. He left a wife and four children. Yet another Christian in Mosul, Iraq, was killed after ISIS learned that a U.S. photographer had visited him.

Christian Aid Mission’s Middle East director said the ministry directors and their workers are ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances who need prayers for safety and endurance, both emotionally and physically. The ministry director who lost team members last month spoke of their human frailty, even as they exercise immense faith.

“There are still workers there [in Iraq],” the director said. “They seem down. They are asking why is this happening to them when they’re doing what God is asking them to do? They seem depressed. The same in Syria. The main leader in Syria was crying on the phone. He could not speak. ‘I don’t know how people can do this,’ he said.”

One reason they’re killing is that they wish to stop the rapid spread of Christianity. There has never been a time when a greater percentage of Syrian Muslims, in-country and refugees, have believed in Christ than in the past three years of civil war.

“We all agree that it’s the greatest awakening happening since the beginning of Islam,” he said.

The ministries also distribute food, medicine and clothing, among other items – tangible evidence of the God of love. The gospel message of love is the greatest evangelistic tool that Christian workers have, the director said, concurring that the love of Christ compared with the hatred of Muhammad in the Koran is shocking to Muslims.

"When a Muslim reads about the unconditional love of Christ in the gospel and how He forgave the adulteress, compared with the stoning of an adulteress by Muhammad, for example, the Muslim sees that God is not vengeful, but a loving God," one of the directors said.

The first ministry leader added that the New Testament is about love, God giving Himself, and God wanting to be with you.

"That’s not something that makes sense in Islam, he said. "They’re shocked that God can be that good. They say it cannot be that God is so loving, so caring. It’s the love message that hits them the most."

To help indigenous missionaries to meet needs, you may contribute online using the form below, or call 434-977-5650. If you prefer to mail your gift, please mail to Christian Aid Mission, P.O. Box 9037, Charlottesville, VA 22906. Please use Gift Code: 400REF. Thank you!

It's proof that God can bring good out of the evils commited by men. It's interesting how the former Muslims go from rote prayers to a remote cold and vengeful deity who does not consider them adopted sons and daughters to a personal relationship with the the God man Jesus Christ.

My favorite passage about the reality of Jesus Christ is :

Quote:We know that an inter-communication exists from person to person; it's a fact that according to the extent that they bear them, the burdens, pains and joys of others pass from one to another in a mystical way. It's a fact that one can feel all the moods of others, receiving them into himself, or penetrating them. A person, by the sensitivity of love, is able to know and to understand his neighbor, and can be burdened with the living of all his experiences. How much more can Jesus do this, the loftiest man, the man perfect in love, for His neighbor. He is one who has a perfect freedom from sin, therefore from egotism and indifference. This gives Him a unique sensitivity. He is close to everyone; He comprehends with supreme subtlety what is in everyone, and also takes part generously and without sin in the beating of every heart. He shares everyone's fondest hopes and his struggles against evil and He strengthens him."
          page 61-62. Father Dumitru Staniloae. Orthodox Spirituality, STS Press 2003

When I was thoroughly converted away from Buddhism it was precisely this encounter with an intimate personal God that was real to me. I can identify with what some of these firmer Mohammedans must be feeling when they encounter the true God for the first time.  May that first real encounter change them forever.
It's very good to see there's a positive side to all the horror in the region.
Islam is demonic.
I have liked Aid to the Church in Need for donations and that is where I have gone to commission Gregorian Masses for the souls of my dear departed and where I obtain Mass cards for birthdays, etc.  Have stopped giving to CRS and some others as they cannot seem to use the donations well.  The history of ACN is a good one and I  have the biography of the priest, Fr. Werenfried, who started this apostolate; it is called "The Bacon Priest".


and about the founder:  http://www.churchinneed.org/site/PageSer..._continued

(12-28-2014, 04:36 AM)Eduard Bodnar Wrote: Islam is demonic.

All heresy is demonic, because it perverts the Truth.
The blood of the Syrian and Iraqui catholic martyrs was not shed in vain.
It contained inside the seeds for the conversion of muslim people.
Let's hope the catholics will be much more numerous after that awful religious war.
(12-28-2014, 01:33 PM)austenbosten Wrote:
(12-28-2014, 04:36 AM)Eduard Bodnar Wrote: Islam is demonic.

All heresy is demonic, because it perverts the Truth.

Yes, well, but some are clearly more than others. I mean, these folks are Evangelical Protestants, and yet I doubt anyone here would say its preferable that they were not there and let those converts just die in a completely mohammedan faith.

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