By Chuck Colson
Monday, March 24,
|In church yesterday, as you celebrated Easter, did you notice
anything—or anyone—unusual?In churches all over the world, there were millions of people
celebrating the resurrection of Christ, who were not there just a few
years ago—because they were worshipping in a mosque instead.
Journalist Magdi Allam holds a candle after being
baptized by Pope Benedict XVI during a Easter Vigil mass in Saint Peter’s
Basilica at the Vatican March 22, 2008. Pope Benedict led the world’s
Catholics into Easter on Saturday at a Vatican service where he baptized
Allam, a Muslim-born convert who is one of Italy’s most famous and
controversial journalists. REUTERS/Dario Pignatelli
|VIDEO: Pope Baptizes Prominent Muslims at
It is thrilling evidence that God is doing a mighty work among Muslims.
According to the website Islam Watch, in Russia, some two million
ethnic Muslims converted to Christianity last year. Ten thousand French
Muslims converted, as did 35,000 Turkish Muslims. In India, approximately
10,000 people abandoned Islam for Christianity.
In his book Epicenter, author Joel Rosenberg details amazing stories of
Muslims converting to Christianity. In Algeria, the birthplace of St.
Augustine, more than 80,000 Muslims have turned to Christ in recent years.
This, despite the stiff opposition from Islamic clerics who have passed
laws banning evangelism.
In Morocco, newspaper articles openly worry that 25,000 to 40,000
Muslims have become followers of Christ in recent years.
The stories are even more amazing in the heart of the Middle East. In
1996, the Egyptian Bible Society sold just 3,000 video copies of the JESUS
film. In the year 2000, they sold an incredible 600,000 copies.
In Sudan, as many as five million Muslims have accepted Christ since
the early 1990s, despite horrific persecution of Christians by the
Sudanese government. What is behind the mass conversions? According to a
Sudanese evangelical leader, “People have seen real Islam, and they want
In Iraq, “More than 5,000 Muslim converts to Christianity have been
identified since the end of major combat operations,” says Islam Watch.
And just a few days ago, the first-ever Roman Catholic church was
consecrated in Qatar, a Sunni Muslim state where the Wahhabi brand of
Islam is practiced. This was the first time Christians in Qatar have been
allowed to practice their faith openly. Ten thousand people attended the
These conversions have not escaped the notice of Islamic leaders. In
2001, Sheikh Ahmad Al Qatanni, a leading Saudi cleric, delivered the
disturbing news on Al-Jazeera: Every day, he said, “16,000 Muslims convert
to Christianity . . . every year, that is six million Muslims becoming
Christians . . . A tragedy has happened.” It is possible the sheikh was
inflating his numbers to incite a reaction against Christianity. But
clearly, something is happening.
How thrilling to learn that so many Muslims have been set free from the
chains of their sins—just as you and I have—by the power of Christ’s
blood! We must pray for these new brothers and sisters; many are being
violently persecuted for their new-found faith.
These millions of conversions give us one more reason to rejoice this
Easter season. Yes, we may be in a great clash of civilizations; battling
Islamo-fascists who threaten to kill us. And the future may at times look
bleak. But never despair: God is on His throne, bringing people into His
kingdom from the very heart of Islam.