(Cairo / Abuja) Islamist violence is rapidly increasing in Africa. Muslim terrorist groups increasingly operate in countries which were, until recently, calm and stable as the Islamist wildfire spreads. The sociologist Massimo Introvigne was the OSCE Representative against persecution and discrimination of Christians in 2011. He sees a targeted strategy beyond the phenomenon of Islamic violence. "The Islamists are convinced that the decisive battle about whether the world is Muslim or Christian will take place in Africa." Even more important to Introvigne is, "that Islam is going to lose this battle. So it responds with bombs. "
It was the Libyan Islamic scholar and director of a training center for Imams and preacher of the Koran, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Qataani, who already proposed to raise the alarm a few years ago in an interview with the Arab-Muslim television channel Al-Jazeera. He did it with a highly explosive statement largely ignored in the West: "In Africa alone, every hour, 667 Muslims convert to Christianity, 16,000 every day, six million a year." Introvigne confirmed the figures, which are now the same as in 2006, when Al-Qataani raised the alarm. African Christianity has a great inner strength. The contact of Muslims to Christianity led millions of Muslims to be baptized. One could say that they "fled" leave Islam. Despite the associated dangers to life and limb
Motion conversion from Islam to Christianity not only in Africa
The conversion movement from Islam to Christianity is found not only to take place in Africa. The baptism of the former Egyptian Muslim, Magdi Allam by Pope Benedict XVI. at the Easter Vigil in 2008 was the most spectacular and most visible element of this movement. In addition Allam adopted, like many Muslim converts, a typical Christian name. He opted for Cristiano. This refers to the personal name Christian. In his case, however, Allam gave a broader message that will say: Magdi "the Christian" Allam, not the Muslim.
Empirical studies are not available. Careful observers, like the sociologist Introvigne, can based on various criteria of that largely unnoticed phenomenon, however is pouring in approximate numbers. According to the British Times 15 percent of immigrants to Europe have abandoned Islam and Muslims have become Christians. In the UK the number is now estimated at 200,000. In France, every year about 15,000 Muslims become Christians. Some 10,000 of them Catholics, the rest Protestants of various denominations, especially of independent churches.
Growth of Islam only by high birth rate in Islamic states - Christianity is growing by adult baptisms
In Africa, such as Sheikh Al-Qataani complained to Al-Jazeera, "Islam has always been the main religion. There were times when 30 African languages were written in Arabic script. "Today's size relationship between Islam and Christianity makes it clear how much Islam has declined in recent years. Al-Qataani stated in his interview that there was a direct comparison between Islam and the Catholic Church, "other Christian denominations were not added into the count”. With the increase in the number of Christians and the millions of Muslims who convert to Christianity, said Sheikh Al-Qataani: "These are huge numbers."
Introvigne confirms the conversion movement against the initially expressed assumption Al Qataani could have estimated the numbers intentionally increased to arouse the Islamic world. "The global growth of Islam is almost exclusively from the high birth rates in Muslim countries where thanks to Western medicine, infant mortality could be reduced substantially," said Introvigne. Outside the Islamic States of Islam is clearly in decline. The growth of Christianity in contrast, results mainly adult baptisms. The Evangelical Wolfgang Simpson wrote: "Over the past two decades, more Muslims came to Christ than in all previous centuries."
Father Joseph Hergets evangelization of Muslims
Priests, like the Austrian Lazarist Father Josef Herget, the founder of the Institute St. Justin in Mariazell, are among the silent but still active missionaries who lead the Muslims from Islam to Christ. They live dangerously. Father Herget wrote back in 1975, when the issue of Islam in the West has been given little weight, his master's thesis on the topic: Christian Preaching in the Islamic World. Another, the Egyptian Coptic priest and Islamic Scholar Zakaria Botros was described by the Arab-Islamic newspaper Al-Insan al-Jadid as the "number one enemy of Islam.” Botros’ broadcast via satellite from the U.S., in which he explains from a Christian perspective, the problematic parts of the Koran (Jihad, status of women, stonings, etc.) may lead to secret mass conversions among Muslims. His mastery of the Arabic language and his knowledge of Islamic sources allow him to contact directly to an Arab-Muslim audience in the Middle East.
The conversions were initiated, as many viewers of Channel Botros Alfady, after initial outrage it was clear that the Ulema are not able to convincingly answer Botros’ broadcasts. Botros like Hergets is dealing with Islam differently from the usual Western criticism that focuses on political and social issues and often betrays a condescending bigoted undertone. This form of criticism is also a cause for the fact that many in the West ignore the Christians of the Middle East and North Africa. Such criticism, which is seen as prejudiced, external interference, to close to the majority of Muslims. They usually respond downright irritated or filling not least on the ranks of Islamist movements, militias and terrorist groups because too many politically charged issues come into play, in which the West is not perceived as the morally superior side, but mutated into an enemy. Botros and Herget, to stay with the two representatives of the evangelization of Muslims, on the other hand,point to salvation. This is the crucial difference that they will open the hearts of many Muslims, and at the same time offer a way out of a spiral of violence with harsh confrontations.
Radical Islam can be defused only by religion, not secularism, materialism and feminism
Raymond Ibrahim wrote in the National Review: "Many Western critics fail to appreciate that, to disempower Islam (radical or otherwise), something theocentric and spiritually satisfying — not secularism, democracy, capitalism, materialism, feminism, etc. — must be offered in its place. The falsehoods of Islam can only be challenged and supplanted by the truths of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And so "Father Zakaria Botros has been fighting fire with fire" and so must we."
People seem to bear no longer the direct or indirect violence. Roman Silantjew, secretary of the Interreligious Council of Russia, said that in the successor states of the former Soviet Union, two million Muslims converted to Christianity. One of the main reasons for this is the desire for peace that they recognize in Christianity.
Two million converts in Russia, 250,000 in Malaysia, 80,000 in Algeria
In Algeria, there were approximately 80,000 Muslims who were baptized, which prompted the country's government to enact laws against Christian proselytism. In these years, Moroccan media continued its complaint against the baptism of tens of thousands Berber. People see in war and crisis zones, how Islam is and they decide for Christ, as the representative of an evangelical community in Sudan said.
In Malaysia, said the Mufti of Perak of 250,000 Muslims that have submitted officially to the authority the application for change of religion to Christianity. Such a change is only allowed for members of ethnic minorities. On the number of Malays who were baptized in secret, there is no information.
People recognize Christianity as a religion of peace, Islam as a religion of violence
Protestant and Pentecostal communities are very decisive. Sometimes they are irresponsible to the distress of the indigenous Christian churches in Islamic countries who are victims of Islamist reprisals. The Catholic Church is more reserved. The Egyptian Jesuit Samir Khalil Samir, a leading expert in the Islamic world and the Pope's adviser, complained that the Catholic clergy "discourages for fear or misunderstood, 'ecumenism ', sometimes even to advise against conversions" in Islamic states. It’s not different in European countries. The situation is admittedly says Khalil, not easy. Free Church communities "come and go, the Church has lasted 2000 years, it is here today and it will be tomorrow." Free Church groups, because of their small structures are barely palpable. likewise because they are in not officially recorded in most countries. Therefore, they are not vulnerable to attack. Quite different is the situation of the Catholic Church and the Eastern Churches. You are officially registered. The authorities know all the Christian places and know the families that belong to Church. They are vulnerable to attack because of its visibility and not only in a particular country, but also in other countries.
Differences between evangelical communities and the Catholic Church
The indigenous churches were accustomed coexistence with Muslims for centuries and in a certain form. A form which allows a convert to Islam, but not vice versa toward Christianity. The long time and the Islamic sword they had resigned themselves to defend their own area but not to reach from it. It is a form of self-defense, which is firmly entrenched in the mentality of the Eastern Christians, and could only be overcome slowly. Overcoming, which Christians very much require, is often given to life-threatening situations.
Missionaries from the outside would have, however, often lack the necessary familiarity with the cultural sensitivities, which could lead to dangerous confusion among the Muslim population. Between these extremes, it was necessary to find ways of evangelization. Working in this field are several Catholic initiatives, such as those of the Austrian Father Josef Herget and his Catechetical education.