Large numbers of Muslim refugees are converting to Christianity in Finland after learning the truth about God, his love, and the compassion He holds for all his children.
Hundreds of asylum seekers from the Middle East, including from Iran and Iraq, have converted to Christianity in Finland, according to officials in the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran community.
A report in Finnish media Yle Uutiset says the conversions are estimated to be several hundred in recent years within the country’s Evangelical Lutheran Church.
The converts are from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and other countries, and the denomination’s parishes have established special confirmation classes for the Muslim immigrants seeking to become Christian.
The report, in Finnish, says that about 20 Afghani men are currently attending “pre-confirmation” classes at the Tainionkoski parish centre in Imatra in Eastern Finland alone. The teachers use a New Testament in the Dari language, which is spoken in Afghanistan.
“I haven’t been baptised yet, but I’m looking forward to it and I’m sure I will be a good Christian,” a convert, Aliraza Hussaini, was quoted as saying.
While some who are seeking to covert cited disillusionment with Islam as the key reason, others said they felt conversion will help them fit into the Finnish culture, according to Sputnik News, which also speculated that an underlying reason also could be to guard themselves against possible deportation.
But honestly if they were only seeking a baptismal certificate to add to their permanent residence application. Then why would they devote several weeks in intensive Bible study?
“I found that the history of Islam was completely different from what we were taught at school. Maybe, I thought, it was a religion that began with violence,” an Iranian convert, 32-year-old Johannes, was quoted as saying. “A religion that began with violence cannot lead people to freedom and love. Jesus Christ said ‘those who use the sword will die by the sword.’ This really changed my mind.”
More churches in Germany reported this growing phenomenon in December 2016, with The Independent noting that Muslims, especially Iranians, are seeing Christianity as a new chance at freedom.
Several Syrian Muslims who fled their war-torn country and found refuge in Lebanon have also converted to Christianity, according to a previous report.
In March, George Saliba, Bishop of Syrian Orthodox Church in Lebanon, said he has baptized around 100 Muslim Syrian refugees since the start of the civil war in Syria in 2011.
The Constitution of Lebanon provides for religious freedom. However, thousands are coming to Christ across the Middle East
The Gospel is being taught with greater effectiveness, the Holy Spirit works through Scripture, which the churches are effectively teaching to the refugees. Pray for the converts, that they will have peace, and for their safety.