Progress in Egypt, plans for Rome

One of the hardest things these days it to gauge progress. Who is making more progress? One thing is clear, the secularists are not winning any important battles. The battles they fight against Christians ultimately will turn against them because they will not resist Islamization. Islamization is good, Christianity is bad. Just ask the ACLU.

But here is some positive news from Egypt, mentioning the well-known Abouna Zakarias as well as some evangelical and Anglican leaders. The whole article is worth a read, but here is one significant section:

Surveying the big picture, Sameh believes a religious earthquake is shaking the Middle East, leading to many new conversions from Islam. "For years, there were only hundreds converting from Islam to Christianity. Very confidential, very low key," he said. "Now [converts] are writing their stories. They are in chatrooms. The voice of converts for the first time is being heard. The numbers are beyond estimation. It's an iceberg. If you hear a thousand, then there are 100,000 beneath the surface."

Sameh traces the roots of this evangelistic surge to a church-based awakening in the 1970s. Menes Abdul Noor (then pastor at Kasr El Dobara) and Coptic Orthodox priest Zakarias Botross were among the few Christian leaders willing to baptize new believers with a Muslim background. Coptic Orthodoxy represents up to 6 million people in Egypt, while Protestants number fewer than 250,000.

Fair enough. But the main point of the article is that the Egyptian government won't allow MBB's (Muslim-background believers) to change their ID cards from Muslim to Christian. But still, the fact that their voice is being heard it important.

But then we have some strident and confident promises, courtesy of Hamas (with whom Jimmy Carter will meeting soon), from one of their MP's, Yunis al-Astal:

Yunis Al-Astal: Allah has chosen you for Himself and for His religion, so that you will serve as the engine pulling this nation to the phase of succession, security, and consolidation of power, and even to conquests thorough da'wa and military conquests of the capitals of the entire world. Very soon, Allah willing, Rome will be conquered, just like Constantinople was, as was prophesized by our Prophet Muhammad. Today, Rome is the capital of the Catholics, or the Crusader capital, which has declared its hostility to Islam, and has planted the brothers of apes and pigs in Palestine in order to prevent the reawakening of Islam – this capital of theirs will be an advanced post for the Islamic conquests, which will spread through Europe in its entirety, and then will turn to the two Americas, and even Eastern Europe.

I believe that our children or our grandchildren will inherit our Jihad and our sacrifices, and Allah willing, the commanders of the conquest will come from among them. Today, we instill these good tidings in their souls, and by means of the mosques and the Koran books, and the history of our Prophets, his companions, and the great leaders, we prepare them for the mission of saving humanity from the hellfire on the brink of which they stand.


And if that happens then Rome will go the way of Constantinople. Upon being Islamized its status as a center of art, culture, and education will evaporate. For what is Constantinople now but a the dirty, industrialized hub of Istanbul, with tourism due to its great history, but little else. Rome will go the way of Alexandria, formerly a home to philosophers, artists, and theologians, but now home to...well, not much.

Comments

I wrote another perspective on Al-Astal's comments on my blog, Vivificat!, which I invite you to read, as I thank the kindness of my hosts for allowing me to publish the link here.

Great blog, good job. I've added it to my blogroll.

In Christ,
-Theo
Rob said…
-Rome is the capital of the Catholics, or the Crusader capital, which has declared its hostility to Islam, and has planted the brothers of apes and pigs in Palestine in order to prevent the reawakening of Islam-

LOL. Yeah, because we Catholics get along so famously with the Jews!

I am neither pro-zion nor anti-zion, but Jewish conspiracy theories have always been incomprehensible to me. Does he really think the Vatican is allied with Jews? Has he noticed we haven't gotten along all that well?
Jeff said…
Oh, goodness, gracious! :p

We have to love these folks. Patience and love, that's the ticket.

I spend a lot of time talking to Omanis on English Sabla and they are marvellous. There are a few strident characters, but mostly, they are lovely.

I think simply being a Christian and looking for Common Word elements in Islam--or in the Islam of individuals if you prefer--does a huge amount of good.

There are young Muslims--quite Muslim now, not Christianizing--explaining the doctrine of the Trinity to other Muslims, protesting misrepresentations of Scripture, telling me that they wish St. Francis de Sales had written THEM letters etc., etc.

What Islam is to this or that person may have surprisingly Christian accents and recognition of that can help in the process of drawing closer which is God's will.

I believe that that drawing closer will be a revelation to them, a change they cannot yet imagine. But they are free to believe otherwise...

Yes, a fine blog! I enjoy reading it.

But there is my two cents, added not to contradict, but to put a slightly different perspective on things.
Abu Daoud said…
Teofilo: Thanks for the compliment, I will be reading your blog regularly.

Rob: You are right about the conspiracy theory slant. Many Muslims here in MENA are thoroughly into conspiracies, and I suppose there are deep religious and historical reasons for it. Not least of all that Allah, according to the Quran, "Is the slyest one of them all."

Jeff: I praise God that you are in touch with folks in MENA, and Oman no less! God fill you with wisdom and love as you witness.

Am not clear on one thing though: Are you speaking of MBB's or regular Muslims? I mean, the ones who reject the doctrine of tahriif and who defend the Trinity? Am curious to hear more.

Post a comment, or send me a secure e-mail at winterlightning [at] safe-mail [D0T] net
Anonymous said…
So you know a few names of Egyptian pastors...
Why show off and add them to the text? By doing this you misquote your source. At least put the names in square brackets [] to show you have added them. Why not just respect that CT had good reasons not to expose the names?
Stupid
Abu Daoud said…
Hi Anonymous,

I didn't mention anyone not mentioned already by CT. Abouna Zakarias is Zakarais Boutros. Abouna, as you may know, is simply the honorific for a priest, like calling someone Reverend or Father in the West.

Abouna Zakarias Boutros doesn't even live in Egypt anymore.

I'm not sure where your anger is coming from. May God give you peace and joy through the power of his Holy Spirit.
s rose said…
Anonymous,
This article is slightly different than the one I read originally read; it DID have the names of the pastors in it. When I went online just now to read it again, it had been changed. I don't think Abu Daoud was trying to make trouble by posting their names.
Jeff said…
I am talking about Muslims Muslims.

What I mean is, not Muslims saying the Trinity is true. I mean Muslims arguing with other Muslims that it is not illogical, or that it is consonant with belief in One God, etc.

Just honesty and open-heartedness in discussion is a huge thing, I think. Christians aren't always honest either. And I argue on the side of the Muslims when I think they aren't being honest, or are overstating their case.

I am really there for friendship and pleasure. I never attack the Quran and I never attack Mohammed. But I do respond when people challenge Christian doctrine into question. And sometimes I make connections for them otherwise.

For example, there was a thread yesterday with a story the point of which was "Why we read the Quran in Arabic." The story--oddly set in Eastern Kentucky--ended with the assertion that reading the Quran in Arabic cleanses you, even if you don't know how and whether you understand the language or not.

I am a Catholic and so immediately I thought to myself: Sacrament! This is a way to get them to see that God's Grace can operate through a visible action. And I said so.

Another thing I do is always defend even the most aggressive and borderline dishonest attacks on Christianity. My position is: We are making truth claims and people don't need to be polite or take our feelings into account. They have the right to challenge us and call us to account. And they should be able to say what they think.

I think if you demonstrate that it's okay for someone to challenge your religion and even to make highly negative comments about it, then others may feel more comfortable when people challenge them.

I don't think we need to be defensive at all. Nor do we need to be aggressive. God will do his work, if we just act like Christians. That's all that is required. I'm not "out to convert" anybody. In my context, at least, it would be disastrous.

But God is at work, oh, yes, I see that quite clearly.

It's an Omani public forum called "English Sabla". There's nothing spectacular about what I'm doing, just an ordinary Christian conversing about everything under the sun and getting to know people. I care quite as much about how some young guy is doing in school or whether some girl is depressed about her home life as I do about knockabout debate. And there are some beautiful Muslim souls who need to be listenened to and loved far more than they need to be preached at, which would only shut their ears.
Abu Daoud said…
Jeff: why can't you both focus on listening and also on converting them? Conversion is not a bad word and it is the heart of evangelism, according to Pope Paul VI.

Anonymous: The original CT article did have Zakarias' name. He is already well known throughout the entire MENA (or infamous I should say), he has not lived in Egypt for years, and could not go back there if he wanted to.

He has a satellite program in Arabic where he explicitly invites Muslims to convert. He is hardly trying to lie low.
Jeff said…
Oh, conversion is certainly NOT a bad word.

But neither is dialogue a bad word.

And the best way up the mountain is not always straight up the cliff.

Christ is attractive. He doesn't need to be sold.

There's a defensive mechanism that kicks in with most Muslims when they think you are trying to take their religion away from them. One gets lost in sterile argument which almost always ends inconclusively.

As soon as I sense someone getting defensive and barriers going up, I retreat.

And that draws them closer.

I wouldn't rule out overt evangelization. There might be a time and a place for that. But that's not the only kind of evangelization there is.
Steve Scott said…
Interesting world we live in...

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