Friday's HOT MIC
Muslims embracing Christianity — in Finland?!
Christian Today's Joseph Hartropp has the story:
Finland has reportedly seen a flood of conversions from Islam to Christianity, with hundreds of asylum seekers from the Middle East turning to the Christian faith, officials in the Evangelical Lutheran community said.
Evangelical Lutheran parishes have begun establishing confirmation classes for Muslim immigrants who want to become Christians. Exact figures on the number of recent Muslim converts aren't available since such records aren't kept – but conservative estimates on the number suggest several hundred in recent years within the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church, according to the Finnish news source Yle Uutiset.
Converts hail from Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq. As many as 20 Afghani men are enrolled in 'pre-confirmation' teaching on the Christian faith at the Tainionkoski parish centre in Imatra, Eastern Finland. Students are assisted by a New Testament in the Dari language, the variety of Persian spoken in Afghanistan. A Dari interpreter is also on hand via Skype to support the teaching given in English.
'I haven't been baptised yet, but I'm looking forward to it and I'm sure I will be a good Christian,' said one convert, Aliraza Hussaini.
This is nothing short of a miracle, for many reasons. Finland is arguably the most "progressive," sexually lax, and irreligious country in Scandinavia — a part of Europe not exactly known for traditional values — and Muslims who convert face social isolation, threats, and even death threats for becoming "apostates."
Nabeel Qureshi, a Muslim convert to Christianity, wrote about his conviction that Christianity fit both reason and history better than Islam. He also explained why Muslims and Christians do not worship the same God. Even so, he was ostracized from his family when they realized he had rejected Islam.