by Friday Fax
Christians from 39 nations and 50 ethnic groups are represented in a study of some 600 ex-Moslems 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 Moslems are turning to Jesus. In almost all parts of the world, including predominantly Moslem 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 from 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 their finding Christ. Jesus very frequently appears to Moslems 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 West African man had a clear vision of a devout Moslem 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-Moslems had supernatural experiences which were decisive in their finding Christ. An Egyptian Moslem 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.