One Bengali man says he was “subdued by the revelation of God’s great love, his own sinfulness, and Christ’s great sacrifice for him.” A West African from Gambia explains simply that “God loves me just as I am.” He described his experience in Islam as “rigorous submission to God.” He sensed an inability to please God. Though he was stoned for his faith in Christ, he remains faithful to his new life in Christ.
The love of God is particularly poignant for Muslims who may have been suppressed by other Muslims. One Shi’a man was attracted by the truth that “God loves all people” and that he was personally loved and protected by God. Similarly, a West African was surprised by God’s love “for all people of all races, including enemies.” His experience in Islam convinced him that Arab Muslims are racist towards Black Africans. Sadly, he described Islam as a “tool used by Arabs to oppress non-Arabs.”
I have called you friends: our love relationship with God
For some 10 percent of Muslim-background believers, the particular attraction of a relationship with God was the strongest apparent factor in their choice to follow Jesus. The Algerian émigré mentioned earlier was taken by the fact that God could be a friend and a father. Similarly, a North African convert was drawn by the opportunity to have a direct relationship with God. What he felt he lacked in Islam was any proximity or nearness to God there was no possibility of walking together with God. In Christ, he stated that a very strong attraction was a direct relationship between the Lord and the people. In a sense, the veil of separation had been lifted.
An Egyptian believer stated two compelling reasons for his attraction to Christianity: being adopted as God’s son and the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. This reflects positively what one Indonesian states negatively about Islam: “God is universal and has no family. There was no way of knowing what God was like.