The latest country added to that list is Switzerland.
According to Switzerland’s Counselling Center for Integration and Religious Affairs (CCIRA), since 2004 over 2,000 Muslim refugees have become Christians. And it does not appear that the conversion rates will be slowing down any time soon.
The ones turning to Christ are mostly Kurds and Afghans.
In an interview with a Swiss TV news program, 20 Minutes, CCIRA coordinator Kathrin Anliker said a couple of factors are at play here. First Muslims are increasingly horrified by the brutality of extremists in the Middle East.
Just recently a Sharia court in ISIS controlled Mosul, Iraq ordered nine young men to be publicly executed. According to reports, ISIS accused the nine of being members of a resistance movement. The court ordered the men be tied to iron posts then cut in half with a chain saw.
Secondly, Anliker noticed that some of the refugees had probably become Christians in their home countries, but had kept their faith secret because of fear of persecution. Now mostly free from the Islamic extremists, they are willing to express their faith openly.
However, Anliker told 20 Minutes:
GOOGLE TRANSLATION: “In asylum centers where the majority of refugees are Muslims, there is a danger that converts are regarded by their countrymen as’ apostates and pressed it and threatened.”
In the same interview, Philippe Daetwyler a pastor of a Reformed Church in Zurich said Christian conversion for Muslims can lead to “massive family conflicts” and possibly even endanger a person’s life if they return to their Islamic country of origin.
These are similar to fears expressed by other Muslim converts. RT reports of a church in Germany that grew from 150 to 700 people since the refugee crisis began. Muslim converts are also reporting similar persecution.
A convert in Hamburg told RT:
“I’ve been spat on, told that I’ve betrayed Islam. But through what I’ve learned, I can forgive them.”
None of this should surprise us. Jesus made this interesting statement on persecution in the Gospels:
but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God. 3 These things they will do because they have not known the Father or Me. 4 But these things I have spoken to you, so that when their hour comes, you may remember that I told you of them. (John 16:2-4 NASV)
Jesus warns that a day is coming when those persecuting, even killing, Christians will believe they are doing God’s work. We saw this happening to the early church when the Apostle Paul, a Jewish pharisee (Philippians 3:5) prior to his conversion to Christianity, arrested and even killed Christians (Acts 8:1-3).
And it is starting to happen again in countries controlled by Muslim extremists who believe they are doing Allah’s will when they target Christians.
- Genug vom Islam – Flüchtlinge konvertieren (English Google translation: Convert Refugees — Enough of Islam): 20 Minutes
- Muslim refugees converting to Christianity at a dramatic rate in Switzerland, Germany: Gospel Herald
- ‘Since I became a Christian I fear no one’: Refugee explains mass conversions from Islam: RT Question More
- Counselling Center for Integration and Religious Affairs (Swiss site)