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Author Topic: Muslims that have converted to Chtistianity  (Read 3296 times) Average Rating: 0
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GabrieltheCelt
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« Reply #45 on: May 19, 2013, 07:27:59 PM »

Hi all, what I'd like to know is whether there are any Christian converts from Islam on this forum?

 I was a practicing Muslim for nearly 10 years; president of the Muslim Students Association at the local University.  I helped fund/start an international da'wah group with offices in Pakistan, Turkey and USA.  Thank God it was disbanded.  I converted to Christianity 9 years ago. 

 andrewlya, you can guess my ethnic background from my posting name; predominantly Scots/Irish.  My conversion story is on here somewhere so I probably won't type it out again.  I'll be happy to answer other questions provided you're not considering converting to Islam. 
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« Reply #46 on: May 19, 2013, 09:49:35 PM »

I will not say that it don't happen that Muslims become Christian but I do know you can go on youtube and see hundreds of fake Muslim converts to Christian. There are things in Islam that just are not known to the public. You could read the Quran 100 times and never know such things. That's how Muslims know their fake.
and we are going to take a Jewish voice on that?

Any examples you can offer of "fake" Muslim converts to Christianity?  Because finding exposed fake Christian conversions to Islam is quite easy, e.g.:
http://www.answering-islam.org/Hoaxes/abuishaq.html

The knowledge of Muslims of Islam in general isn't so high, so even those born in Muslim families in Muslim countries wouldn't know the things you are alluding to, let alone be able to spot.

Btw, Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, all his descendants are/were Christian (I understand that one has apostacized and become Parsi, his father's original religion).

Interesting; where did you get the information that Jinnah was of Christian background?
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« Reply #47 on: May 20, 2013, 12:24:02 PM »

At my last parish, it seemed like about half of our converts were Muslim.   They found the transition to Orthodoxy smoother than most Christians who came from other Christian backgrounds.

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« Reply #48 on: May 20, 2013, 01:04:51 PM »

Really? What parish was it?
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« Reply #49 on: May 20, 2013, 01:06:54 PM »

St. Peter of Rostov was a "prince" of the Golden Horde who converted to Christianity; it's not clear to me if he was previously Muslim or not. This was the time when the Golden Horde was making the transition to Islam- St. Peter's uncle, Berke Khan, had become a Muslim.
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« Reply #50 on: May 20, 2013, 01:47:28 PM »

I am sure there are more Muslim converts to Christianity on this forum ,but they have not probably come across this topic yet Smiley
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« Reply #51 on: May 20, 2013, 01:50:45 PM »

Hi all, what I'd like to know is whether there are any Christian converts from Islam on this forum?

 I was a practicing Muslim for nearly 10 years; president of the Muslim Students Association at the local University.  I helped fund/start an international da'wah group with offices in Pakistan, Turkey and USA.  Thank God it was disbanded.  I converted to Christianity 9 years ago. 

 andrewlya, you can guess my ethnic background from my posting name; predominantly Scots/Irish.  My conversion story is on here somewhere so I probably won't type it out again.  I'll be happy to answer other questions provided you're not considering converting to Islam. 

I've studied Islam but there are certain things in Qur'an that does not fit with my beliefs,things that, in my opinion, God would never have said. So, no, I am not considering to converting to Islam and Happy to be always a Christian.

I take it you were a Christian, then converted to Islam and then reverted back to Christianity? 
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« Reply #52 on: May 20, 2013, 01:52:57 PM »

At my last parish, it seemed like about half of our converts were Muslim.   They found the transition to Orthodoxy smoother than most Christians who came from other Christian backgrounds.



Yes, whereabouts is your Parish?
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« Reply #53 on: May 21, 2013, 05:10:58 PM »

Hi all, what I'd like to know is whether there are any Christian converts from Islam on this forum?

 I was a practicing Muslim for nearly 10 years; president of the Muslim Students Association at the local University.  I helped fund/start an international da'wah group with offices in Pakistan, Turkey and USA.  Thank God it was disbanded.  I converted to Christianity 9 years ago. 

 andrewlya, you can guess my ethnic background from my posting name; predominantly Scots/Irish.  My conversion story is on here somewhere so I probably won't type it out again.  I'll be happy to answer other questions provided you're not considering converting to Islam. 

I've studied Islam but there are certain things in Qur'an that does not fit with my beliefs,things that, in my opinion, God would never have said. So, no, I am not considering to converting to Islam and Happy to be always a Christian.

I take it you were a Christian, then converted to Islam and then reverted back to Christianity? 

 Well, I was raised Assemblies of God.  My dad was a pastor in Kentucky so I grew up in the church. 
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« Reply #54 on: May 22, 2013, 12:27:32 PM »

I will not say that it don't happen that Muslims become Christian but I do know you can go on youtube and see hundreds of fake Muslim converts to Christian. There are things in Islam that just are not known to the public. You could read the Quran 100 times and never know such things. That's how Muslims know their fake.
and we are going to take a Jewish voice on that?

Any examples you can offer of "fake" Muslim converts to Christianity?  Because finding exposed fake Christian conversions to Islam is quite easy, e.g.:
http://www.answering-islam.org/Hoaxes/abuishaq.html

The knowledge of Muslims of Islam in general isn't so high, so even those born in Muslim families in Muslim countries wouldn't know the things you are alluding to, let alone be able to spot.

Btw, Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, all his descendants are/were Christian (I understand that one has apostacized and become Parsi, his father's original religion).

Interesting; where did you get the information that Jinnah was of Christian background?
He wasn't, he was of Isma'ili background.  His daughter, however, converted, and she married a Parsi convert to Christianity (Jinnah married a Parsi convert to Islam, IIRC, so the daughter had that background already).

I only mention this because the OP has come across the propaganda Muslims put out that no one ever converts to Christianity from Islam, and certainly no notable Muslims.  Jinnah's family was the first family of Pakistan, a country Jinnah founded solely on the basis of Islam, where he is revered as Father of the Nation, Greatest Leader etc. .  Yet his family from that height chose Christianity over Islam.

Btw., as a bit of irony, the Lord played a joke on the Muslim nationalists.  Given the reverence of Jinnah, his birthday is the National Holiday of Pakistan.  And his birthday?  December 25.

On the source of my information, my doctorate studies were in Islam.
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« Reply #55 on: May 22, 2013, 03:25:50 PM »

This was a facinating book that I read in regarding a very notable convert whose father is very influential in Hamas.  He isn't Orthodox or on this forum, but his story is quite interesting.

http://www.sonofhamas.com/
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« Reply #56 on: May 24, 2013, 01:20:08 AM »

There's also Saint Constantine Hagarite. http://orthodoxwiki.org/Constantine_Hagarit

Isn't it a bit inaccurate to call him "Hagarit," though, since "Hagarite/Hagarene" was a mediaeval way of referring to Muslims and he specifically converted out of Islam?
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« Reply #57 on: May 24, 2013, 06:35:36 AM »

my doctorate studies were in Islam.

Do you mind being more specific? Curious.
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« Reply #58 on: May 24, 2013, 03:44:19 PM »

I'll be posting my story either tonight or tomorrow once I type it all up. I went from lapsed Catholic, to Islam, and finally to attending the Greek Orthodox church.  Grin
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« Reply #59 on: May 24, 2013, 04:06:31 PM »

Welcome! Smiley
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« Reply #60 on: May 24, 2013, 04:10:01 PM »

Thanks!
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« Reply #61 on: May 24, 2013, 04:55:28 PM »

my doctorate studies were in Islam.

Do you mind being more specific? Curious.
Early Islamic History and Islamic Thought.
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« Reply #62 on: May 24, 2013, 05:03:53 PM »

my doctorate studies were in Islam.

Do you mind being more specific? Curious.
Early Islamic History and Islamic Thought.

Psht, I think we need someone with knowledge of LATER Islamic History.  That degree just won't do. Sorry.  Wink
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« Reply #63 on: May 24, 2013, 08:23:45 PM »

There is a Wikipedia article listing Muslims that have converted to Christianity
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_converts_to_Christianity_from_Islam
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« Reply #64 on: May 24, 2013, 10:05:03 PM »

my doctorate studies were in Islam.

Do you mind being more specific? Curious.
Early Islamic History and Islamic Thought.

Psht, I think we need someone with knowledge of LATER Islamic History.  That degree just won't do. Sorry.  Wink
Then you know nothing of the Salafists.
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« Reply #65 on: May 24, 2013, 10:09:18 PM »

my doctorate studies were in Islam.

Do you mind being more specific? Curious.
Early Islamic History and Islamic Thought.

Psht, I think we need someone with knowledge of LATER Islamic History.  That degree just won't do. Sorry.  Wink
Then you know nothing of the Salafists.

I could google it and pretend that I do, but I'm not going to even try.  You are right, I don't.  laugh
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« Reply #66 on: May 24, 2013, 10:13:59 PM »

Do you mind me asking what you do for a living, ialmisry?  What caused you to get a PhD in that?
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« Reply #67 on: May 24, 2013, 10:29:32 PM »

I'll try and make this as short as I can. I grew up in the rural Southern part of the States, raised in Catholic family. I was a 'good' Catholic girl, went to a Catholic school for quite a while, spent more time in the Church than almost anyone in my family besides my grandmother. Around age 14 something changed, I still am not really sure what triggered it but I started to become really disheartened with the Catholic church. Looking back, I equated Catholic with being Christian in general. I was young, and probably a little dumb to think there was nothing besides this and being Protestant, but then again I was living in a town of 1,900 people and those were the only options around I knew of. By 15 I had decided I would not be Catholic, especially after taking a required class in World Religions. Admittedly, I liked Islam because at the time it seemed like a perfect continuation of Christianity to me. I spent close to a year studying off and on, in secret, about Islam and attending classes at the mosque in the next county. I became Muslim when I was 17 right after my senior year of high school started and got married almost as soon as I turned the legal age to do so(2004). I'll skip the entire bit about my family being unhappy because they thought I was throwing my life away, but know they were highly displeased for a good while. Their unhappiness went up when I started to become more and more extreme, attending a Salafi masjid and going by an Arabic name. I stayed this way until around 2009, after I had my first son.

In a nutshell, I could never be a good enough Muslim. I was too nice, too tolerant, too open minded and so on. I wore the abaya, hijab and sometimes niqab, prayed and fasted, and lead a women's revert group. I am an ECE teacher and I taught 4 year olds at the mosque about Allah, Muhammed and Islam on the weekends, too, all trying to be the best Muslim I could to please my creator and somehow make up for my 'faults' I mentioned. By this time my marriage had turned abusive and much of this was not taken seriously by the Muslim community, if anything it was justified using Islam. There is no need to give the details of how and why my marriage ended, but in 2011 I had an annulment that made it void and left to rebuild my life. At this point I was Muslim by outer appearance only, I was empty inside, I almost felt like my Arabic named alter-ego had killed who I really was. I had many encounters during the 2011-12 year with Christians, inviting me to churches, trying to talk to me and tell me about what they said was the truth yet I always said "I am Muslim, no thanks." There was always a little nagging desire though to just go back into a church and see, I think I told myself for memory's sake or something. I clung to Islam, the only thing I had known since I was 17 because I now thought I somehow wasn't good enough for anything else, yet I did not want my children to grow up as Muslims. I had this fear that I would go into a church and everyone would know I used to be Christian and left the faith for Islam, and it would be like when Muslims leave the faith. I thought they would think I was some type of apostate who should be at the very least turned away instantly.

I had become friends with a Coptic Egyptian, and we had the best conversations about Islam and Christianity. It was through this person that I really got my information about Orthodoxy, and how so many of the good things in Islam I liked were taken from early Christianity. I knew I had no desire to go back to being Catholic, yet at this point I did not want to be Muslim anymore either. I visited a few Orthodox churches(all of which were really nice) before seeking out the one and only Greek Orthodox church in my city and attending liturgy there. I am beyond happy to say that this is what I have been seeking since I was 15, it feels like I've finally found my home so to speak. For now I am just attending, but spoke to Father a few weeks ago about catechumen and am hopeful about starting that journey sometime this summer. Sorry if there are holes in my story, I tried to clip out unimportant stuff and just give the basics!
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« Reply #68 on: May 24, 2013, 10:37:01 PM »

rebecca.ann - welcome to the forum.   Smiley

I hope that the Lord watches over you as you continue your journey to Orthodox Christianity.   

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« Reply #69 on: May 25, 2013, 02:57:56 PM »

welcome and may God guide and protect you.
are your children with you, or do they live with their father?

i know from my friends' experiences that these situations can be difficult sometimes.
of course, feel free not to answer questions if you think they are too personal.
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« Reply #70 on: May 25, 2013, 07:13:12 PM »

mabsoota, thank-you and no worries, it isn't too personal.

I am lucky that my kids are with me, and their father only has a mild interest in them so far. Of course things could change concerning that but it doesn't look like it to me. I however can't take them to the Church with me out of fear that they would mention it(they are both 5 and under so unable to understand keeping something to themselves) on a chance visit with him and then who knows what he could get started; I assume their father thinks we are all still Muslim. Lips Sealed
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« Reply #71 on: May 26, 2013, 12:43:49 PM »

wow, tricky.
i would suggest you pray with them at home, though.
use prayers in an orthodox prayer book, and if you teach them to prostrate in the orthodox Christian way when praying, it might not look strange if they mimic this with others who are used to prostrations in prayer.
may God guide you.
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« Reply #72 on: May 26, 2013, 12:54:22 PM »

my doctorate studies were in Islam.

Do you mind being more specific? Curious.
Early Islamic History and Islamic Thought.

Psht, I think we need someone with knowledge of LATER Islamic History.  That degree just won't do. Sorry.  Wink
Then you know nothing of the Salafists.

It isn't a very recent phenomenon?
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« Reply #73 on: May 26, 2013, 01:33:53 PM »


Quote

It isn't a very recent phenomenon?


Ibn Taymiyya pretty well got that train moving 700 years ago....
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« Reply #74 on: May 26, 2013, 01:44:15 PM »


Quote

It isn't a very recent phenomenon?


Ibn Taymiyya pretty well got that train moving 700 years ago....


LOL. Has it gained more popularity during recent decades or have I just been plain old ignorant?
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« Reply #75 on: May 26, 2013, 02:26:31 PM »

Quote


LOL. Has it gained more popularity during recent decades or have I just been plain old ignorant?

That part is complicated. Muslim political ideologies have been in flux since the end of anyone really claiming the caliphate in 1924. But, the big story of modern Islam, I suppose is the absorption of modernizing reformist movements (such as the trend starting with Jamal al-Din al-Afghani) into Wahhabism/Hanbalism, which has only really become almost complete in the last 20-30 years. One could also speak of the ideologization of various kinds of tribal barbarism (such as among the Pashtun or in Northern Nigeria) along Wahhabi/Hanbali lines. Also, while people have from very early on in Islam held to naive attitudes toward text similar to the ideas of our modern Salafis (the term itself is modern), that wasn't quite so problematic before mass literacy and printed materials. Also, where in the past most Sunnis were willing to give only grudging respect to Hanbalis, economics has changed that.
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« Reply #76 on: October 23, 2013, 03:10:57 AM »

Practiscing muslim for some 20 years. However was raised and baptised in a protestant family...Orthodoxy attracted me for many reasons most of which were in the main 'political and social'. Somehow the 'spiritual' was down on the list but actually the overriding factor. Without detailing specifics went thru several phases of Islam, from quasi-Islam to heterodox Islam to mainstream Islam. Ultimately Islam as a religion was wanting, a vapid wasteland that did not feed me a true spiritual sustenence I needed to feel whole, to feel like I was part of the Body of Christ and his church...After I left Islam I even became somewhat agnostic for a year and then the skies opened to the sunshine of the Ancient Faith....With all that said there are still some social and cultural issues that I find problematic in Orthodoxy yet I am commited because of the limitless horizon Orthodoxy holds for me on all levels of daily living in this life and the after life to come.
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« Reply #77 on: October 23, 2013, 07:14:32 AM »

I know people who converted to Christianity from Islam, most of them did so during and after the Sharia(the name given 2 attempted jihads that took place between 2000 and 2001 in Kaduna City, my residence city).
Even the daughter of the Nigerian Sultan or Caliph converted to Christianity.
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« Reply #78 on: October 23, 2013, 08:26:43 AM »

my doctorate studies were in Islam.

Do you mind being more specific? Curious.
Early Islamic History and Islamic Thought.

lol Really? That must've been helpful.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #79 on: October 23, 2013, 08:30:12 AM »


Quote

It isn't a very recent phenomenon?


Ibn Taymiyya pretty well got that train moving 700 years ago....


LOL. Has it gained more popularity during recent decades or have I just been plain old ignorant?

Who do you think bin Laden and al-Qaeda are? I'll give you a hint, clearly not Salafi-jihadis.
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« Reply #80 on: November 07, 2013, 06:29:38 PM »

I know people who converted to Christianity from Islam, most of them did so during and after the Sharia(the name given 2 attempted jihads that took place between 2000 and 2001 in Kaduna City, my residence city).
Even the daughter of the Nigerian Sultan or Caliph converted to Christianity.

This is interesting. Are converts persecuted in Nigeria like they are in other countries, such as Egypt?
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« Reply #81 on: November 08, 2013, 07:40:46 AM »

I know people who converted to Christianity from Islam, most of them did so during and after the Sharia(the name given 2 attempted jihads that took place between 2000 and 2001 in Kaduna City, my residence city).
Even the daughter of the Nigerian Sultan or Caliph converted to Christianity.

This is interesting. Are converts persecuted in Nigeria like they are in other countries, such as Egypt?
Converts in the northern region(which is predominantly Muslim inhabited) are persecuted but those in other regions are free. in the north only the police or military will save converts from the hands of danger because family members and other relatives seek to hunt them out and kill them. convert usually run away from the region or move to another place within that they are not recognized.
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« Reply #82 on: November 11, 2013, 12:50:48 PM »

Hi all, what I'd like to know is whether there are any Christian converts from Islam on this forum?

I've spoken to a Muslim friend just recently who was surprised that some Muslims convert to Christianity. Also, some Muslims believe that statements made by ex Muslims that converted to Christianity are made up/false claims.

If there are any converts on this forum ,please tell me how you came to become a Christian.

I also understand that for the reason of reprisals ex-Muslims keep it quiet, but if possible state what your ethnicity is, country of origin/present country etc.

I am highly interested in knowing this.

Thank you very much, God bless in Christ.

It's interesting you should mention this - just a few days ago, I was in my church for service (the side church room on non-Sundays) and I went to venerate the icons in the actual Church area after the service, and as I venerated each icon, I heard 'group voices' coming from the entry of the church, by the front doors. I look behind to see a group of ten Muslims, dressed in jeans but wearing their caps and some wearing their long shirts to the knees. I was there for about 5 minutes, praying, and I tried not to get distracted by them, though they weren't loud but they weren't whispering either. They were speaking half English, half Arabic and basically pointed to the Alter and the Icons all around. They never walked into the church and just stood by the foyer.  As I proceeded to leave , I had to walk towards them, as they were by the door, and upon approaching, they moved out of the way for me to pass, as one of them smiled and said 'thank you' to me (for reasons I didn't understand.) Then they left.

Honestly,  I did not like how they walked in as they did. My church is in a nice neighborhood, and aside from surveillance (I assume,) there isn't much security around. I felt to question why they were there. I actually felt uncomfortable, and my mind went to the worst like, are they thinking to do something bad here??!! I pray no, of course! I always think of these people as 'imposing,' and people who just 'steal' things, land, etc. wherever they go (due to history, this is my assumption of them,) however, I don't know if they were indeed Christian since I did not see them cross themselves. However, they could be those who want to learn about our Orthodox faith, and came as a group to show others? like Ive said, they were there 3-5 minutes tops.
 
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« Reply #83 on: November 11, 2013, 12:53:20 PM »


Quote

It isn't a very recent phenomenon?


Ibn Taymiyya pretty well got that train moving 700 years ago....


LOL. Has it gained more popularity during recent decades or have I just been plain old ignorant?

Who do you think bin Laden and al-Qaeda are? I'll give you a hint, clearly not Salafi-jihadis.

Feel free to elaborate.
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« Reply #84 on: November 11, 2013, 01:07:32 PM »

Honestly,  I did not like how they walked in as they did. My church is in a nice neighborhood, and aside from surveillance (I assume,) there isn't much security around. I felt to question why they were there. I actually felt uncomfortable, and my mind went to the worst like, are they thinking to do something bad here??!! I pray no, of course! I always think of these people as 'imposing,' and people who just 'steal' things, land, etc. wherever they go (due to history, this is my assumption of them,) however, I don't know if they were indeed Christian since I did not see them cross themselves. However, they could be those who want to learn about our Orthodox faith, and came as a group to show others? like Ive said, they were there 3-5 minutes tops.
 

I'm sorry that this was your reaction.  Have you had some bad experiences personally with Muslims or with Arabs? 

I think, if we generalise too much about "Muslims" and what "these people" are up to in our "nice neighbourhoods", etc., we're not really behaving like Christians.  I suppose it's natural to be concerned if you see strangers just walk in off the street and there's no one at the door to greet them and "vet" them so to speak, but by your own account, they stayed in the back for a short time, didn't venture in, just looked around, talked among themselves, and were thankful to you for no reason.  They could be interested in the faith, or they might just have decided to see if it was open because they were curious.  There are a number of reasons why they might've stopped in.  Granted, we should be vigilant because anything is possible, yet, I think it's a sad reflection on Christians if we build houses for God and then want to be too restrictive on who gets to step foot on the property. 

And most bad things done in churches are done by Christians.   
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« Reply #85 on: November 11, 2013, 01:45:06 PM »

Honestly,  I did not like how they walked in as they did. My church is in a nice neighborhood, and aside from surveillance (I assume,) there isn't much security around. I felt to question why they were there. I actually felt uncomfortable, and my mind went to the worst like, are they thinking to do something bad here??!! I pray no, of course! I always think of these people as 'imposing,' and people who just 'steal' things, land, etc. wherever they go (due to history, this is my assumption of them,) however, I don't know if they were indeed Christian since I did not see them cross themselves. However, they could be those who want to learn about our Orthodox faith, and came as a group to show others? like Ive said, they were there 3-5 minutes tops.
 

I'm sorry that this was your reaction.  Have you had some bad experiences personally with Muslims or with Arabs? 

I think, if we generalise too much about "Muslims" and what "these people" are up to in our "nice neighbourhoods", etc., we're not really behaving like Christians.  I suppose it's natural to be concerned if you see strangers just walk in off the street and there's no one at the door to greet them and "vet" them so to speak, but by your own account, they stayed in the back for a short time, didn't venture in, just looked around, talked among themselves, and were thankful to you for no reason.  They could be interested in the faith, or they might just have decided to see if it was open because they were curious.  There are a number of reasons why they might've stopped in.  Granted, we should be vigilant because anything is possible, yet, I think it's a sad reflection on Christians if we build houses for God and then want to be too restrictive on who gets to step foot on the property. 

And most bad things done in churches are done by Christians.   

Well, I did not want to come off racist, and generalize the whole Muslim race based on current views of them and their ways. Actually, to a degree, I have had a handful of bad experiences with them at my workplace, needless to say, if I were to average them, 7/10 were bad experiences. However, I do understand those seven do not account for the race in its entirety.

I think the one that thanked me, said it as in, 'thank you for allowing us to enter and observe' so to speak. I would like to think that he thanked me in the sense that he/they didn't mean to disturb me in prayer and felt appreciative of how he was allowed in without question.

Again, if they were on the verge of conversion and wanted to either show or convince they 'others' to follow, then by all means, have them in at any time. But, I still remain spectacle of these people and their ways, but I will never prevent an honest-willing Muslim to enter salvation through Christ. After all, Muslims are terribly misguided in their beliefs and faith, and I do hope each and every one of them sees The Light and The Truth as soon as possible.
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« Reply #86 on: November 11, 2013, 01:48:49 PM »

And most bad things done in churches are done by Christians.    

We all are sinners, yes?

Edited to fix tags.  Mor.
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« Reply #87 on: November 11, 2013, 02:01:40 PM »

And most bad things done in churches are done by Christians.    

We all are sinners, yes?


Yes, we are all sinners.  My point was simply that I'd be more worried about Christians coming into churches, vandalising, polluting, stealing, disrespecting, etc., whether it is in the actual church building or the rest of the property, embezzling parish funds, and so on.  Many such things have been done by people of the right ethnicity who knew what icons to venerate and how to make the sign of the cross.  Such people blend in easier.  They have greater and more regular access to the church.  They wouldn't automatically be suspected. 
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« Reply #88 on: November 11, 2013, 02:07:29 PM »

And most bad things done in churches are done by Christians.    

We all are sinners, yes?


Yes, we are all sinners.  My point was simply that I'd be more worried about Christians coming into churches, vandalising, polluting, stealing, disrespecting, etc., whether it is in the actual church building or the rest of the property, embezzling parish funds, and so on.  Many such things have been done by people of the right ethnicity who knew what icons to venerate and how to make the sign of the cross.  Such people blend in easier.  They have greater and more regular access to the church.  They wouldn't automatically be suspected. 

If they are adhering to the acts of the Devil, then yes, i'd agree with you there!

However, I find it very hard to see a parishioner of the church, and of the same faith, would be suspected of "vandalizing, polluting, stealing, disrespecting, etc., " upon entering the church during non-services hours. Not saying it doesn't happen! But non-parishioners and those of other faiths entering my church during non-services would raise my eyebrows first. Just saying...
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« Reply #89 on: November 11, 2013, 02:18:30 PM »

However, I find it very hard to see a parishioner of the church, and of the same faith, would be suspected of "vandalizing, polluting, stealing, disrespecting, etc., " upon entering the church during non-services hours. Not saying it doesn't happen! But non-parishioners and those of other faiths entering my church during non-services would raise my eyebrows first. Just saying...

I mean no disrespect, but it's odd to read these words next to your avatar.  St Irene's, unfortunately, was no stranger to dimensions of Christian sinfulness that would raise a lot more than eyebrows.  Thank God if those days are finally gone, but before the darkness was driven away, would anyone have suspected there was anything but light in that holy place?  Sadly, it is not the only example, was not the first, won't be the last, and perhaps wasn't even the worst. 

Our energies would be better spent confronting sinfulness wherever we find it, and not presuming that our own people are OK but others need to be watched.     
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