Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Egyptian Imprisoned for Converting to Christianity

Conversion stories have always interested me. All kinds of conversion stories. Whether they are lapsed Catholics reverting back to our faith or evangelicals such as Steve Ray. But converts from Islam to Christianity fascinate me the most. Probably because they are not as well known as the others due to several factors. Number one being that those who convert face death, persecution, and rejection from their (former) peers. How sad that an allegedly great faith such as Islam has no confidence whatsoever in what it stands for. Such is the case of Bahaa el-Din Ahmed Hussein el-Akkad (Bahaa) of Egype who was a former Islamic scholar and sheikh. Yes, a sheikh.
For more than 20 years, the former sheikh was a member of the fundamentalist Islamic group Tabligh and Da’wa, which actively proselytized non-Muslims but strictly opposed violence.
Bahaa converted in 2005 and was immediately detained by the notorious State Security Investigation (SSI) indefinately with no charges. The charges were finally revealed as "committing blasphemy against Islam". He has been in jail for over 18 months now and counting. He is rotting in one of Egypts worst jails, the Wadi el-Natroun Prison where most of Egypts worse Islamic militants are jailed in spartan conditions out in the desert.
"He is locked in a place where he may die because his age, body and mind cannot tolerate this cruelty and stubbornness of the state security authorities,"
He is 57 years old and is unable to cope with his surroundings at his age. His conversion arised from his disillusionment of Islam.
"This is a proof to all Muslims,” El-Akkad wrote, “that the person who studies the two religions from an objective and serious perspective will choose the Christian approach."
Let us pray for his safe and quick release from jail. Let us pray also for all those that have converted to Christianity in the Middle East but have kept it a secret due to a fear of losing their lives. Finaly let us pray that Egypt, as well as the rest of the Islamic world, will allow freedom of worship in their respective countries. For more on this article click here.


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