Over a period of ten years, an extensive questionnaire compiled at Fuller Theological Seminary’s School of World Mission was filled out by some 600 Muslim-background believers (or those who knew them well). The results provided here are drawn from a representative sample of 120 of those surveys. The respondents are drawn from 39 countries and over 50 ethnic groups. They provide a broad window into the hearts and minds of those who have turned from Islam to Christ and why.
Why A Sure Salvation
It is an issue that touches on a longing concern for much of humanity. The question of one’s eternal destiny haunts many who long for the hope of heaven and the sure knowledge that they have been saved from the penalty of their sins. The Qur’an states that salvation belongs to “those that believe and do deeds of righteousness, those are the inhabitants of Paradise, there they shall dwell forever.” (1) Yet it also states that God forgives whom He wills and chastises whom He wills.
Why In Indonesia
One Indonesian woman was taught in her Islamic family that the bridge to heaven was as thin as a piece of hair. This tradition is found in the canonical collection of the activities and sayings of Muhammad (the hadith). Even good deeds, she was taught, would not assure her of crossing safely into Paradise. This hair-thin bridge was difficult and dangerous to cross. For her, a key factor in coming to faith in Christ was the realization that she could not save herself. Only the blood of Christ could redeem her.
Why Confidence in Salvation
A West African woman wanted to know for certain at the point of her conversion that her sins had been forgiven and washed away. When a Persian émigré to the United States was asked if Christ had given him freedom from fear, he said, “Oh yes, I feel forgiven, I have the assurance of forgiveness.” For these and others, what they have found in Christ is an eternal, secure refuge. An Egyptian man stated more broadly and unequivocally that the main attraction of Christianity for a Muslim is the assurance of salvation. A Javanese man said simply, “After I received Jesus, I had confidence concerning the end of my life.”
Why Center Piece is Jesus
According to the survey the center piece for Muslims was always the same. They have (whether one by one or family by family) been drawn to the God-man Jesus Christ. And for their spiritual direction, they have found one book that stands out above all others: the Bible. And more than any other portion of scripture, these believers are attracted to the Sermon on the Mount. One Javanese man who read the whole Bible echoes the thoughts of many about the Sermon on the Mount, saying, “If the life of a Christian is like that, I wanted to become a Christian.”
Video: CBN News, Former Muslims Share Christ
Many former Muslims are now involved in efforts to share their faith with other Muslims.