Ex-Muslims report: "Why I Chose Jesus!"

Christians from 39 nations and 50 ethnic groups are represented in a study of 600 ex-Muslims carried out by Fuller Theological Institute's Professor Dudley Woodberry. They speak of the reasons why they decided to leave Islam to follow Jesus, even in the face of heavy persecution, sacrifice and death threats. The most important results:

- a growing number of Muslims are turning to Jesus. In almost all parts of the world, including predominantly Muslim nations, people are turning to follow Jesus. Their number is growing constantly;

- a growing number of small groups are meeting in secret, hiding their new faith even from their own families.

The most frequently mentioned reasons for conversion were:

- according to Islamic tradition (Hadith), the bridge to heaven "is only as wide as a hair; not even good deeds guarantee admission to Paradise." Many were attracted by the certainty of salvation in Jesus.

- Christ's character is particularly attractive: "He does not retaliate, is humble, loves the poor and outcasts; the power of his love is unique, and one can enter a relationship with him, completely different to Islam, in which a personal relationship with God is unthinkable."

- Christians' character: "Christians are the only people who really work for justice for the poor and repressed; Christians' unconditional love, and their peaceful and contented aura are very noticeable."

- dreams and visions: over 25% said that dreams and visions were decisive in them finding Christ. Jesus very frequently appears to Muslims as a white figure:

"One believer from Guinea recounts the dream of a figure in a white robe, calling the man to come to Him. In a related dream, he recalls that the same figure's arms were extended, beckoning him. He now knows that the figure was Christ."

"A convert from the Middle East who had been afflicted with severe headaches was lying on his bed after having prayed for his sick son. A man with a beautiful, peaceful face appeared. Dressed in white, the figure walked to the head of the man's bed and touched him three times on the head. The next morning his headaches were gone. His son, too, was fully healed."

"A West African man had a clear vision of a devout Muslim in hell and a poor Christian, who had been unable to give alms, in heaven. A voice explained to him that the difference was belief in Jesus."

- supernatural experiences: a number of ex-Muslims had supernatural experiences which were decisive in them finding Christ. An Egyptian Muslim was reading the gospels, and had just reached Luke 3 when a strong wind entered the room, and a voice said "I am Jesus Christ, whom you hate. I am the Lord you are seeking." 'I cried and cried, and decided to follow Jesus that day,' he remembers.

Source: Prof. Woodberry/R. Shubin,


Ex-Muslims for Jesus Christ

Mullah's Supernatural Conversion - Becomes Church Planter

In Russia, Mischa (not his real name) grew up near the Ural mountains among the Tatars and Bashkiris in a completely Islamic culture, attended a Koran school and served as a Mullah for three years. During that time, he already had 'uninterpretable dreams'. One of his friends left the Koran school because he had discovered Christianity, and Mischa also began secretly reading the Bible, but was shocked by rumors of human sacrifice in Christian services. Recently, Saggida, a church planter supported by the Swiss missions agency Kingdom Ministries, visited Mischa's home town, known as a spiritist and occult center, to plant a church. She experienced many difficulties, including the death of her daughter and son-in-law in a car accident. Mischa and many others said "It is Allah's anger". Mischa attended the funeral, determined to spread Islam during the coming anniversary celebrations in the young church. However, during the first sermon, he was overcome by some form of drunkenness and could say nothing. The drunkenness passed in time for the second sermon, but he began to shiver and shake and felt as though he was about to die. During the third sermon, he responded to the call to repent, despite being convinced that he was without sin. While praying, God revealed his sins to him. Mischa confessed his sins and called on Jesus; the strong back pains from which he had been suffering were immediately healed. As he later washed his hands, the tattooed words 'Allah u akhbar' were miraculously washed away. He then returned to his village, where he had a dream in which he was told "You are saved, and through you, your whole family and many of your people will be saved." Following a dream in which her deceased mother and Mischa appeared to her, Mischa's sister visited Mischa, who explained the Gospel to her. She was saved, as were other members of Mischa's family and friends. Mischa is now being trained as a church planter.

Source: Kingdom Ministries, fax (+41) 33 437 0016


Not long ago, we spoke with a Christian media manager with an uncommon vision and passion for people in the Middle East. His aim: they should get to know Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Earlier, while a Muslim, he had great plans to spread Islam throughout the world via satellite TV. Today, as a follower of Jesus, he is excited about spreading the gospel via satellite and encouraging the viewers to start house churches. Over 70 million households in the Arab world have satellite TV. He told us his story. It was not cheap.

Success Is Not Everything

Ibrahim Yousef James (name changed) looked at his reflection in the mirror. "Perhaps there really is something wrong with my life," he thought to himself. He was a dedicated 24-year-old Muslim, with a religious hat and a long beard as signs of his faith. He was born in India, but his family moved to Kuwait when he was 6 years old. He and his brother founded a TV production company, and he was rich by the age of 20. His TV company became the largest in Kuwait. Ibrahim studied the Koran, learning long passages by heart, gave to the poor and made seven pilgrimages to Mecca. There was only one thing he could never do right: commit suicide. He had already tried four times. "Why can't I find peace?" he asked himself over and over.

The God Who Speaks

In 1985, he studied in Europe. During the last week of Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, he could not sleep. Even sleeping pills had no effect. He cried out to Allah "God, why are you punishing me?". He found a Gideon Bible in his hotel room. Opening it, he discovered the words "Where to find help in a time of need" and a number of other topics, including "If you need sleep, read Psalm 4". Ibrahim was astonished. He read, and prayed "I know that there are people who believe this book. If you are the God of this book, let me fall asleep." He lay down and fell into a deep, dreamless sleep. However, he soon forgot his experience. During street evangelization, he heard Christians saying, "Jesus is the only way to God, he is the Prince of Peace." Ibrahim asked,

"How do you know that Christianity is the only way? Or that the Bible is God's Word, not the Koran?" "If you want to know the answers to those questions, ask God. He loves you and will show you the way," he was told. "I was completely astonished. I had never heard of anyone saying that God spoke to him!" he said. For all his life, he had served a judgmental God, not a loving one. Uncomfortable, Ibrahim prayed: "God, you must be able to speak to me. If you do not, I will reject you." The five following nights, he had a dream of a very bright light in the sky. As it approached, he recognized it as a cross, then heard a voice from heaven saying "This is my way. Jesus is my son. I give you my peace, and will leave my joy with you." Ibrahim woke up, almost unable to believe it: God had spoken to him!

Peace Which No Man Can Give

"The following day, I considered the cost, what it would mean for me to follow Jesus. I knew that I would be expelled from my family. My company was in the Arab world, and it was clear that I could lose everything, including my life." He visited some other Christians of whom he had heard, and decided to follow Jesus. "From that day, a Godly joy filled my heart," he says. "Joy and a great peace..."

"Whoever leaves father and mother for my sake..."

He immediately wanted to proclaim his new faith. He called his family, who had returned to India. "You must be joking!" exclaimed his father. "No, dad, it is no joke." "Recant!" his father demanded. As Ibrahim refused, his father told him "From this moment on, we have nothing more to do with you. We do not want to hear from you. Do not write, and do not call." His family confiscated all his wealth and his company. He had nothing left. A few months later, he received a letter from his parents, telling him that his mother was ill. "You are killing her. Give up your faith." He married in 1986, and in 1987, he received a telegram from India, inviting him to his sister's wedding. "Do not take your wife with you," he heard God telling him. Instead, he took his brother-in-law Jim with him. When he arrived, the reception was friendly, and everything looked good for 30 minutes. Then the atmosphere changed, and the whole family started hitting and kicking him, even his mother. "Recant Christ and convert to Islam!" demanded his father. As Ibrahim again refused, his father asked "Who then will rescue you from my hand?" Ibrahim replied "My God is great enough to protect me. But I would rather die with Jesus than live on without him!" His father fetched a gun, and was about to shoot when Ibrahim's uncle knocked his arm aside. "They kept me prisoner, with guards everywhere. They destroyed my Bible, my wedding photographs and all of my books, and chased Jim out of town." Desperate, he was only able to pray under the shower. After some time, his family started to take him out on visits. Suddenly, Jesus spoke to him, telling him that the day had come for him to leave his family. "Go now!" he heard, and the moment was opportune. He could jump into a taxi and flee back to his wife.

"Now I Know That Your God Is Real"

Some years later, he was able to speak with his mother on the telephone. His sister's child lay dying. The family had been to the mosque to pray, but in vain, and the doctors had also given up hope. "What should I do?" asked Ibrahim. His mother asked him to pray. "Pray in the name of Jesus for the child yourself," he replied, "and Jesus will heal her, but don't let yourself be caught, because you know what would happen." His mother prayed, and the child was miraculously healed. Ibrahim recently spoke with his father, who told him "I now know that your God is real, and that you know him, because our plans to destroy you have failed for 10 years." "The price of following Jesus is high," says Ibrahim, "but Jesus paid it!" (Read more testimonies)

Source: Friday Fax 2000 issue 2, 14 January

Text (c) DAWN Europe. Redistribution is explicitly allowed as long as

the copyright remains intact with the text. Editor: Wolfgang Simson.


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