Traditional Muslims come from “shame and honor” cultures. The fear of losing their family, and shaming their community keep then within Islam.
Fear of becoming outcast is valid. Ayan Hirsi Ali describes why in her book “Infidel.” Once you are cast out of a traditional Muslim society, you lose the protection of your group. You then become legitimate prey for anyone to abuse, beat, rob, rape, and even kill. It is dangerous to leave the pack.
In this video, Louis discusses leaving Islam, with ideas for escaping and hiding from persecution. He gives us 4 steps for Leaving Islam:
- Be Bold but Careful – Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.
- Pray for Wisdom and Courage
- Find a Place where you could go if you are in Danger
- Take Refuge in Jesus
Louis points to the words of Jesus in Mark 10:29,30, to encourage us:
“No one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much…along with persecutions.”
and Paul’s words in Romans 8:31,
“If God is for us, who can be against us?”
With greater access to information on the internet, immigration, international students and travel, conversions are happening more than ever. Muslims finally have access to more than what they have been spoon-fed about their own and other religions.
Dr. Cynthia, of our series, has interviewed and listened to testimonies of many people who have converted – not only to Christianity, but also to Islam. Converts both to and from may Islam feel rejection. But there is one experience those who leave Islam face, that converts to Islam do not: the threat of death.
For Muslim apostates, the fear of being killed is real. Several our Muslim friends delayed converting to Christianity for months because of this.
Why should Muslims be afraid to leave Islam? Simple. The Quran in Surah 4:89 tells Muslims to,
“Take hold of them and kill them wherever you find them.”
In the hadith, Prophet Mohammed also said to kill those who leave Islam (see Sahih Bukhari 52:260 & 84:57). New convert
Huda, who appears in many of our videos, called Dr. C afraid after she received a death threat. Others we know were locked up, interrogated, beaten and even had their bones broken after declaring their new faith. Some denied Christ under persecution. Sadly, it does happen. But some return to him.
When should a former Muslim and announce their conversion to other Muslims? The answer to this depends on the situation.
“Coming out” is a major decision that requires much prayer and wisdom. New believers often get excited and want to tell people about the Lord. We encourage Muslims in strict communities to get strong in the Lord before they come out, because new believers usually lack training and familiarity with the scriptures. They are not ready to face the questions they will get, let alone persecution.
Even spiritually mature former Muslims should take this step seriously, with much thought and prayer. They should be sure it is the Lord’s will.
At times, former Muslims don’t openly admit that they are Christians, but it comes out in other ways. For example, some we know from the Arab Gulf started posting Bible verses and Christian messages on Facebook. They didn’t openly say it, but they were soon discovered! So, if you are a former Muslim, or are discipling one, prayerfully consider this risk.
Wearing a cross definitely gives away conversion. For example, Huda went to a dinner party with powerful Muslims from her country. One of them noticed that she was wearing a cross. “Have you become a Christian?” he asked. All eyes turned to her. “Of course!” she replied reflexively, before realizing that she just risked her life! Fortunately, the event was in America: no one followed Mohammed’s command to kill that night.
Other converts we know have felt it wise to stay secret believers totally under cover. This can be difficult. Some do this not only for safety, but to sow light and truth into the lives of their Muslim contacts. So please, dear friends, pray for those leaving Islam. And if you are doing so yourself, pray and make a considered decision.