Elijah Friedeman, the Millennial Perspective
Christianity Today on why Muslims become Christians.
A survey of 750 Muslims who converted to Christianity shows five predominant reasons they chose to follow Christ.
- The lifestyle of Christians. Former Muslims cited the love that Christians exhibited in their relationships with non-Christians and their treatment of women as equals.
- The power of God in answered prayers and healing. Experiences of God's supernatural work—especially important to folk Muslims who have a characteristic concern for power and blessings—increased after their conversions, according to the survey. Often dreams about Jesus were reported.
- Dissatisfaction with the type of Islam they had experienced. Many expressed dissatisfaction with the Qur'an, emphasizing God's punishment over his love. Others cited Islamic militancy and the failure of Islamic law to transform society.
- The spiritual truth in the Bible. Muslims are generally taught that the Torah, Psalms, and the Gospels are from God, but that they became corrupted. These Christian converts said, however, that the truth of God found in Scripture became compelling for them and key to their understanding of God's character.
- Biblical teachings about the love of God. In the Qur'an, God's love is conditional, but God's love for all people was especially eye-opening for Muslims. These converts were moved by the love expressed through the life and teachings of Jesus. The next step for many Muslims was to become part of a fellowship of loving Christians.
The respondents were from 30 countries and 50 ethnic groups. The survey was prepared at Fuller Theological Seminary's School of Intercultural Studies, and reported in Christianity Today.
When you look at the main reasons Muslims come to Christ, you see that three of the reasons center around love, either the love of God or the love that Christians have, and two of the reasons center around God’s power. Not surprisingly, antagonistic Christians are not on the list.
We won’t be able to combat Islam by being hostile towards members of that faith. Sure distancing ourselves from Muslims might make us feel safer, better about life, or like we’re making a difference in our culture. But the real way to bring about change in the lives of Muslims is to foster personal relationships with them.
I get the feeling, and I’m sure Muslims do, too, that many Christians would like to kick them out of the country or stick them in internment camps. This attitude undoubtedly alienates Muslims.
After hearing reports that Hasan was harrased because of his Muslim faith, I began to wonder if there could have been a different outcome in that situation if a Christian had stepped in and shown love to Hasan. Maybe Hasan would have changed his mind if he was shown love instead of hostility.
Instead of constantly proclaiming that Islam is evil because you heard someone quote several verses from the Koran that promoted killing, why don’t you develop a relationship with a Muslim? Let them see how you’re different from others. Let them see your love and the love of your God. The research tells us if you do this, you have a much better chance of making a difference in the lives of Muslims than if you had merely caustically derided their faith.
So why don’t you give it a try? Try spreading the love of God to un-Christians, whether Muslims or not. I guarantee you this will please God and make a greater, lasting impact than merely ridiculing their beliefs.