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Posts Tagged ‘Muslims’

Visions of Jesus appearing to Muslims?

In 12 Converts on 2015/12/18 at 12:00 AM
by MICHAEL CARL

Michael Carl is a veteran journalist with overseas military experience and experience as a political consultant. He also has two Master’s Degrees, is a bi-vocational pastor and lives with his family in the Northeast United States.

“Your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions,” asserts the promise of God from the book of Joel.

Yet some of those men reportedly seeing visions and dreams are neither Jews nor Christians … but Muslims.

What’s more, Middle East evangelists report the dreamers are coming to Christianity because of their visions of Jesus.

According to a CBN report, Christian Middle East evangelist Hazem Farraj’s television program “Reflections” is reaching a large Muslim audience. Farraj told CBN that he hears from Muslims who report having dreams or visions of Jesus.

Tom Doyle, an evangelist, pastor and the E3 Partners Ministry director for the Middle East and Central Asia says it’s true: Muslims are coming to Christianity through dreams and visions.

“Great things are happening in the Muslim world,” Doyle said in an email to WND. “It’s all very unexpected.”

Doyle told WND that he is familiar with Farraj’s program and that Jesus is breaking through where missionaries have not succeeded.

For the rest of the story…
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New Catholics; Former Muslims

In 12 Converts on 2013/08/30 at 12:00 AM

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Pope Benedict baptizing former Muslim.  Six million adult Muslims from all over the world are converting yearly to Christianity; mainly to Catholicism.

Islamist (Cairo / Abuja) violence is rapidly increasing in Africa. Muslim terrorist groups increasingly operate in countries which were until recently calm and stable. Islamist wildfire spreads. The sociologist Massimo Introvigne, the 2011 representative of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) against persecution and discrimination of Christians, sees a targeted strategy behind 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 importantly, according to Introvigne, “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 preachers of the Koran, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Qataani, who, already a few years ago, in an interview with the Arab-Muslim television station Al-Jazeera, raised the alarm. He did it with a highly explosive statement, very little noticed 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 leads millions of Muslims to be baptized. One could say that they “fly” to leave Islam. Despite the associated dangers to life and limb.

The move to conversion from Islam to Christianity is taking place not only 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.  Allam shows how many Muslim converts in addition adopt a typical Christian name. He opted for Cristiano. This refers to the personal name Christian. In his case, however, for Allam there is a broader sense that will say: Magdi “the Christian”–no longer the Muslim–“Allam”.

Empirical studies are not available. Careful observers, as the sociologist Introvigne can have an idea about the numbers, based on various criteria of largely unnoticed and ongoing phenomena. According to the British Times about 15 percent of Muslim immigrants to Europe have abandoned Islam and 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.

In Africa, as reported by Sheikh Al-Qataani 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 make clear how much Islam has declined in recent years. Al-Qataani made a comparison directly between Islam and the Catholic Church, “without counting the members of other Christian denominations”. To increase the Christians by 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 of Al Qataani who could have intentionally over-estimated the numbers to arouse the Islamic world. “The global growth of Islam is almost exclusively from the high birth rate in Muslim countries where thanks to Western medicine, infant mortality has been substantially reduced,” said Introvigne. Outside the Islamic States of Islam there is a decrease. The growth of the Christians results, in contrast, mainly from 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 of St. Justin in Mariazell are among the silent but 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 was being given little weight, his master’s thesis on the topic:Christian preaching in the Islamic world . Another, the Egyptian Coptic priest Zakaria Botros was named “enemy number one of Islam” by Islamic scholars of the Arab-Islamic newspaper Al-Insan al-Jadid.  Botros television broadcasts via satellite from the U.S., in which he deals with the problematic parts of the Koran (Jihad, status of women, stonings, etc.) from a Christian perspective, may lead to secret mass conversions among Muslims. His mastery of the Arabic language and his knowledge of Islamic sources allow him to directly contact an Arab-Muslim audience in the Middle East.

The conversions were suspended, as many viewers of Botros transmitter Alfady after initial outrage was clear that the ulema are not able to convincingly answer to the broadcasts Botros. Botros and Hergets deal with Islam in a different way from the usual Western criticism that focuses on political and social issues and often betrays a condescending racist undertone. This form of criticism is also a caused by the fact that many in the West ignore the Christians of the Middle East and North Africa. Such criticism is seen as prejudiced, external interference, to the vast majority of Muslims. They usually respond downright irritated in the ranks of the Islamists, 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 the enemy. Botros and Herget, to stay with the two representatives of the evangelization of Muslims, on the other hand, bring salvation. This is the crucial difference which opens the hearts of many Muslims, and at the same time offers a way out of a spiral of violence with harsh confrontations.

Raymond Ibrahim wrote in the National Review : “Many Western critics do not understand that it is necessary to defuse the radical Islamism and in its place suggest something Theo centric and spiritually satisfying, not secularism, democracy, consumerism, materialism, or feminism. The ‘truths’ of a religion can be challenged only by the truth of another religion. Father Zakaria Botros fights fire with fire “.

People seem to no longer tolerate 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 have converted to Christianity. One of the main reasons for this is the desire for peace, which they find in Christianity.

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 to report the baptism of tens of thousands of citizens. People see war and crisis zones in Islam and they decide for Christ, as the representative of an evangelical community in Sudan said.

In Malaysia, according to the Mufti of Perak, 250,000 Muslims have submitted officially to the authorities the application for change a 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.

Protestant and Pentecostal communities move quite differently, sometimes very irresponsibly, to the chagrin 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, reported that the Catholic clergy “sometimes even discourages conversions in Islamic states for fear or misunderstanding, ecumenism’. It is otherwise is in European countries. Khalil admits that the situation is not easy. Independent Church communities “come and go, but the Church was 2000 years ago, it is today and it will be tomorrow. “Independent Church groups, because of their small structures being barely palpable, or because they are not officially registered in most countries, are not as vulnerable to attack. The situation is quite different for the Catholic Church and the Eastern Churches. They are officially registered. The authorities know all the Christian places and know what families belong to the church. They are vulnerable to attack because of its visibility and not only in a particular country, but also in other countries.

The indigenous churches were accustomed coexistence with Muslims for centuries and in a certain form. A form tolerating conversion to Islam, but not vice versa to Christianity. Time and the Islamic sword have made these Christians resign themselves to defend their own area and not to reach out. It is a form of self-defense, which has been firmly entrenched in the mentality of the Eastern Christians, and could only be overcome slowly. Overcoming that worries Christians very much, given the often life-threatening situations.

Missionaries from the outside, 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 area there are several Catholic initiatives, such as those of the Austrian Father Josef Herget and his Catechetical Instructions.

This article written by Giuseppe Nardi originally appeared in Katholisches

 

Papal Warning

In 14 Book Corner on 2011/08/24 at 11:11 PM

Here follows the famous statement made in 1998 by then Cardinal Ratzinger.  It alerted many Christians to the current religious peril.

“The great moral crisis of the Western World broke out in the sixties and seventies…in the face of the deep moral contradictions of the West and of its internal helplessness, combined with the sudden opposition by the new economic power of the Arab countries, the Islamic soul reawakened.

Islam believes that they are now somebody too; they know who they are; that their religion is holding its ground; we no have one any longer.

This is actually the feeling today of the Muslim world, what they believe: ‘The Western countries are no longer capable of preaching message of morality but have only knowhow to offer the world. That Christian religion has abdicated; that it really no longer exists as a religion; that the Christians no longer have a morality or a faith; all that’s left are a few remains of some modern ideas of enlightenment, while they have the religion that—stands the test.’

So the Muslims now have the consciousness that in reality Islam has remained in the end as the more vigorous religion and that they have something to say to the world, indeed, are the essential religious force of the future. Now there is a new pride. Thus a new zest, a new intensity about wanting to live Islam has awakened. This is its great power: They say: ‘We have a moral message that has existed without interruption since the prophets, and we will tell the World how to live it, whereas the Christians certainly can’t.’

We must naturally come to terms with this inner power of Islam, which fascinates even academic circles.”

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in SALT OF THE EARTH: The Church at the end of the millennium (interview by Peter Seewald). pp. 243/244. Ignatius Press.  http://www.ignatius.com/Products/SOE-P/salt-of-the-earth.aspx

Pope St. Pius V 1540-1572

In 13 History on 2011/05/12 at 10:23 PM

Pope St. Pius V was a history-making pope and one of the giants of the whole history of the Western world.  He is called the Father of the Catholic Reformation and savior of Christendom.

  

In 1556, a Dominican monk, Antonio Ghisliere, who prayed the rosary daily, was chosen pope in 1556 in a unanimous roll call vote because of his passionate devotion to Christ, the Church, his iron courage, relentless perseverance and spotless reputation. He begged not to be chosen but the whole Church joyfully celebrated his selection.  


Son of a poor muleteer, he was destined to follow in his father’s footsteps had not the Dominicans given him a good religious and secular education. A professor of philosophy and theology, he also held various positions of authority in his community.  He was a living example of monastic virtues and the spirit of his order’s founder, St. Dominic.

 

In 1556 he was made bishop. His zeal against heresy led him to be chosen to be an inquisitor of the faith in Italy and later for all Christendom.

He began his pontificate by giving large alms to the poor. As pontiff he practiced the virtues he had is displayed as a monk and a bishop. A simple man, he only owned two coarse woolen shirts and dined on and egg and a few vegetables. Daily, he made two meditations on his knees in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.  In his 7 years as pope, he visited the hospitals and sat by the bedside of the sick, consoling them and preparing them to die. He washed the feet of the poor and embraced the lepers. An English nobleman was said to convert on seeing him kiss the feet of a beggar covered with ulcers.

 

He addressed the cardinals exhorting them to reform themselves and their households and avoid the kind of life that had given so much scandal in the past to the humble members of the church.    

He declared that he intended to carry out the decrees of the council of Trent to the letter. He banished luxury from his

 

court, raised the standard of morality, labored with his intimate friend, St. Charles Borromeo, to reform the clergy,    

 

obliging his bishops to reside in their dioceses and the cardinals to lead lives of simplicity and piety. 

  

He appointed Borromeo as the head of a special commission or the reform of the clergy as he had already done so in Milan.  Consequently, a cardinal who had left the church and married, was thrown out and six heretical bishops were removed, as well as one bishop who stormed out on Christmas day, denouncing the pope, throwing down his mire and staff and stormed out of the church, mounting a horse and riding away to join a Calvinist army.  Also, a whole religious order was also suppressed.


Pope Pius also ordered that the catechism of the Council of Trent be published, and it was done within a year. St. Peter Canisius, a German Jesuit, immediately made the German translation.  Soon it appeared in Polish, French, and other languages


Right at the beginning of his pontificate, he had the new General of the Jesuits, St. Francis Borgia,  set to work on a general history of the church to refute the distorted Protestant history circulating. With the indispensable aid of the Jesuits

and many others, the pope began the reform of the Church, or as it is called, the Catholic Reformation, a gigantic  

undertaking that would require more than a full generation to complete.


Pope St. Pius took all the words and examples of Christ literally.  The famous Protestant historiographer, Ludwig Von Pastor wrote that everyone who met him “felt that he was in the presence of a man of unshakable firmness and of a profound seriousness, which, far removed from anything in this world, was fixed entirely on spiritual things.”  

 

Not only did he reform the religious orders, but he had imprisoned bishops who refused to live in their dioceses, insisted on regular Sunday religious instruction, regular attendance by children to instructions, establishment of seminaries, ordered bishops to visit their parishes and make regular visits to Rome. In 1570, he approved of a common liturgy and missal.  


During this period of tremendous religious and political upheaval, the Church was fortunate to have this powerful and persuasive leader.  In Germany he supported the Catholics oppressed by the heretical princes; in France he encouraged the League by his counsels and with financial aid; in the Low Countries he supported Spain. The Pope often said that Philip II of Spain was the only king upon whom the Church could consistently depend.  

         

He eventually excommunicated Elizabeth of England and supported the cause of her imprisoned cousin, Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, writing her in prison to console her.  

Philip II sent the  Spanish Armada to capture Elizabeth and replace her with the legitimate descendant of Henry VII. 


The two great and constant worries for him were the struggle against the Protestants and the Ottoman Turks.  He constantly tried to unite the princes of Christendom against their hereditary enemy, who sought to destroy Christendom.  


In 1570 Suleiman attacked Cyprus threatening all Christendom, he did unite the forces of Spain and Venice.  Don John of Austria, the commander-in-chief of the expedition, had in his flagship a replica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  


On the day of the Battle of Lepanto, October 7, 1571, the pope was working with the cardinals, when, suddenly, interrupting his work opening the window and looking at the sky, he cried out: “A truce to business; our great task at present is to thank God for the victory which He has just given the Christian army”.


When eventually the new of the victory arrived, the Pope burst into tears.  LEPANTO’s fame has echoed down the centuries as a magnificent victory over the Muslims, a battle which dealt the Turkish power a blow from which it did not recover until modern times.  Cervantes, author of Don Quijote, fought in this battle and said that it was: “the greatest

day’s work seen in centuries.”


Having requested all Christendom to pray the rosary during the battle, this devout son of St. Dominic, consequently instituted the feast of the Rosary to be celebrated the first Sunday of October in honor of Mary, “Help of Christians.”


This simple, devout and Christlike pope is remembered for his rare virtue and an unfailing and inflexible integrity.  

Note: See post 9/11 in Category: History and post Bagels, Croissants, Capuchino and Shish-kebobs in Category: Historical Tid-bits.