Below is a short excerpt from a longer article by Sherry Weddell which appeared online this week at The National Catholic Register under the title Why Are Millions of Muslims Becoming Christian?
She uses the term MBB (Muslim Background Believers) to describe such converts, and the “millions” figure in the original headline seems to be based on the fact that,
The U.S. is a magnet for MBBs, which is why about 477,000 lived here in 2010. Roughly 60,000 were Catholic, 40,000 were Orthodox, and the rest are almost all evangelical Protestants. There were approximately 180,000 Arab-Muslim background Christians and about 130,000 Iranian MBBs in the U.S. six years ago. What is especially stunning is to realize that the pace of MBB growth has dramatically accelerated since 2000.
combined with the observation that,
Recently, Catholics have begun seeing mainstream media coverage of mass baptisms of Muslims in Europe. Some of my friends who work in Catholic parishes have helped Muslims enter the Church through RCIA.
So on to the “why” question. Weddell lists five reasons which are summarized from research by Dudley Woodbury, a Fulbright scholar of Islam:
- 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. The Jesus portrayed in the Quran is a prophet who heals lepers and the blind and raises the dead. Often, dreams or visions about Jesus or a man of light were reported. (Some also have dreams of the Bible or of the Virgin Mary, who is revered within Islam.)
- Dissatisfaction with the type of Islam they had experienced. In his article “How ISIS Is Spreading the Gospel,” David Cashin of the Zwemer Center observes, “I have often referred to Islamic radicals as ‘proto-evangelists’ for the Christian faith.”
- 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 Quran, God’s love is conditional, but God’s love for all people in the Bible was especially eye-opening for Muslims. These converts were moved by the love expressed through the life and teachings of Jesus.
Again, you’re encouraged to read the full report at National Catholic Register.