Jump directly to the content

Why 100 Former Muslims Converted to Christianity

Survey offers insight into how gospel operates in Muslim contexts.

According to scholar Scot McKnight, conversion experiences are deeply impacted by the different contexts in which the gospel operates. What does that mean for Muslim conversion experiences?

As an answer, McKnight points to a survey of 100 former Muslims by Georges Houssney, founder and president of Horizons International, that attempts to understand the factors that led to their conversion to Christianity.

The vast majority of respondents–who were mostly moderate Muslims (40%) or nominal Muslims (40%) before their conversions (20% were self-described "fanatics")–said they viewed their relationship with Allah as based on fear or duty. Equal percentages (55%) said they viewed Islam primarily as a cultural system vs. a religious system. Today, 9 in 10 respondents say they believe they now are worshiping a different God than Allah.

So what do they think distinguishes God from Allah? Nearly 3 in 4 respondents emphasized love as the most meaningful characteristic of the Christian God. Meanwhile, 25 percent cited God's forgiveness.

And love appears to be extremely influential when it comes to evangelism as well. More than 8 in 10 respondents cited "the love of Christians as one major factor" in their conversion, and 6 in 10 cited it as the only factor. Only 30 percent cited "disappointment with Islam." Meanwhile, 25 percent say they were drawn to Christ by dreams or visions.

CT reported extensively on Muslim conversion in our January/February issue, which featured a cover story on what it's like to follow Christ while embedded in Muslim culture. The reports detailed why evangelicals should be thankful for insider Muslims, and debated how much Muslim context is too much for the gospel.

Support our work. Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Related Topics:Islam
Posted:April 18, 2013 at 11:40AM
Gleanings aggregates what others are reporting. Learn more.
Recent Posts
Compassion: 145,000 Children Could Lose Sponsorship by Christmas
Christian charity's largest country, India, no longer lets it transfer money. And now it's run out.
Died: Thomas Oden, Methodist Theologian Who Found Classical Christianity
His contribution to theology: nothing new. And that's what made him famous.
Christians Win Nepal's First Anti-Evangelism Case
Court frees grief counselors charged under former Hindu kingdom's new constitution.
Opposition to Assisted Suicide Dies Out
Most Americans, including 4 in 10 evangelicals, want doctors to help terminally ill patients end their lives.
Christianity Today
Why 100 Former Muslims Converted to Christianity