Reversion: Why do ‘Christian Converts’ from Islam Return to their Old Religion? What Can Be Done to Prevent It?
AbstractThere is much to celebrate worldwide in terms of unprecedented numbers of Muslims coming to know the Lord Jesus as their Savior. The global church has the welcome challenge of discipling these new worshippers of the biblical Jesus and to integrate them into the life of the church. These are wonderful challenges to face. At the same time, just as there are encouraging statistics of growing numbers of ex-Muslims now in Christ (xMnCs), there is a statistic that few missionaries want to talk about. It is the worrisome number of so-called converts who return to Islam. Patrick Johnstone’s engaging question below sets the tone for this study, which establishes the need for this research, briefly examines biblical and qur’anic terms for apostasy, considers a number of historical examples, identifies common themes, and then proposes some antidotes. Concerning those who fall away, Johnstone (2008:12) asks: “How many of those who find the pressures too hard, the Christians around them too unwelcoming, or the replacement for the close-knit societal and family network such large hurdles that they leave their new faith in Christ and return to Islam?”