Europe, the Missionaries’ Battle Ground

The plight of converts to Christianity in Muslim countries is well known. What is less known is the plight of Muslim converts to Christianity in Western Europe. Last week Dutch television broadcast a documentary which shows how former Muslims in the Netherlands are frequent victims of intimidation and violence.

A few weeks ago, an immigrant from Iraq was knifed in the Dutch town of Rolde by another immigrant from Iraq. The victim was a former Muslim who had converted to Christianity; the assailant was a Muslim who took offense. Though similar events recently occurred in Rotterdam, Zutphen and Hengelo, the Dutch media prefer not to report them, the documentary said.

A former Muslim, who wished to remain anonymous because of the danger, told Dutch television that after his conversion to Christianity his car had been bashed with iron bars and stones thrown through the windows of his house. In one incident a Turk tried to assassinate his sister who had become a Christian. An asylum seeker from Iraq was told by the police to move to an undisclosed location. A Moroccan girl was also advised by the authorities to relocate.

One Christian convert received a telephone call from the local imam who threatened him with Koran verses calling for the death of apostates. “I am afraid, not just for myself, but also for the lives of my wife and children,” he said. Muslims who become Christians and subsequently try to convert others take serious risks, the police has warned. Nevertheless, many Muslim converts feel it to be their Christian duty to tell their family and friends of Jesus’ love for them.

I recently met a group of former French Muslims who converted to Evangelical Protestantism. They do missionary work in Muslim neighborhoods in both France and Belgium. They told me that there is a “hunger for God” among the Muslims and that the Muslims are the prisoners of Islam and are very receptive to Christianity.

I do not know whether this is true, given the relatively small number of Muslim converts to Christianity, but I could only admire their courage, and wonder why Europe’s Christian churches have never reached out to the many Muslims immigrating into their countries during the past four decades.

American Evangelical churches have begun to financially support converts to Christianity in Western Europe. Pope Benedict XVI also seems to be aware of the unique opportunity to bring people to Christ in Europe.

In March the Pope baptized the 55-year old Magdi Allam, an Egyptian-born Italian journalist and a former Muslim. Mr. Allam moved to Italy in 1972. For almost thirty years he defended Islam and argued in favor of immigration. Since 2002, however, his views have altered radically. Today he advocates a ban on mosques in Italy and states that Islam is inseparable from Islamic extremism.

“I asked myself,” he wrote after his conversion to Catholicism, “how it was possible that those who, like me, sincerely and boldly called for a ‘moderate Islam,’ assuming the responsibility of exposing themselves in the first person in denouncing Islamic extremism and terrorism, ended up being sentenced to death in the name of Islam on the basis of the Koran. I was forced to see that, beyond the contingency of the phenomenon of Islamic extremism and terrorism that has appeared on a global level, the root of evil is inherent in an Islam that is physiologically violent and historically conflictive.”

Mr. Allam also advocates proselytizing among Muslims. He wrote that by personally baptizing him “His Holiness has sent an explicit and revolutionary message to a Church that until now has been too prudent in the conversion of Muslims, abstaining from proselytizing in majority Muslim countries and keeping quiet about the reality of converts in Christian countries. Out of fear. The fear of not being able to protect converts in the face of their being condemned to death for apostasy and fear of reprisals against Christians living in Islamic countries. Well, today Benedict XVI, with his witness, tells us that we must overcome fear and not be afraid to affirm the truth of Jesus even with Muslims.”

While Saudi fanatics have been pouring funds into Salafist missionary activities among European Muslims, it seems that at last Christians have begun to react, preaching a God of Love to people who have only ever heard about a God of Hatred.

Paul Belien is an Adjunct Fellow of The Hudson Institute. This article was first published at the website of The Hudson Institute New York

@nataraja: on church guidelines and Church practice

Well, @nataraja, I've got the feel that I'm being offered a crash-course on militaristic evangelicalism, so perhaps after a few more rounds, my ignorance will be mended ;-)

Meanwhile, you might want to take note of the actual content of the article by Mr. Belien, when you answer that:

"..intellectual catholicism would work for me. Please take note of the fact that dialogue and cooperation between world faiths, not provocation and/or conversion, is one of the official guidelines of that church.."


Perhaps your understanding of "dialogue" and certainly "cooperation" differs somewhat from what Pope Benedict XVI said in his Regensburg lecture? But it's not my call to question your knowledge of the Vatican's diplomatic discourse. And surely you didn't skip the part in Mr. Belien's article, that section that covered the high profile baptism of a prominent Italian Muslim by B-16? Two instances, among many, that sent shockwaves throughout the Islamic world and were interpreted as provocations.

Kind regs from Amsterdam,

@Nataraja: enter those Calvinist hordes

So, @nataraja, why not try to answer your own question: which/what kind of Christianity do you consider to be a viable way out of the problem with Islam?

And did you really think that Mr. Belien is promoting fanatical/fundamentalist protestantism in the above article, or that the attacked converts to Christianity in the Dutch "documentary" have subscribed to some mysterious ultra-Calvinist sect who threatens people's lives should they consider to convert to the secular/leftist Church?

Personally, I think I'm with @Paganini (17:40) on this one.

Back to the article

I'd like to draw some attention to the Dutch documentary (well, not quite, just an item in a news program really) that Mr. Belien mentions in his interesting article. This program, NOVA, represents the more "intelligent" form of PC-journalism, one that claims to show both sides of every coin. A magical coin at that, for it always seems to flip over to one side when they toss it ;-)

In short, the news item in question is just another opportunity given to Islamic apologists, to repeat their worn thin slogan that "..this has nothing to do with Islam", and so on. The anchorman (m/f)
explicitly mentions in her elaborate announcement, that Islamic agression is exclusively directed against former Muslims who are evangelizing among Muslims. Clearly the suggestion of this would be that it's the evangelizing that is the problem, and not punishment of apostasy from Islam itself, thereby conveniently ignoring this Islamic doctrine. Yet, in the same reportage there's mention of a Moroccan girl who ran into the same agression without attempts to proselytize. 

The apologetical pro-Islam perspective is further enhanced by the usual academic "expert", a known apologist for Islam, who simply recasts the whole problem in terms of emotion and impulse control, or the lacking thereof in some individual Muslims. Then, to top it off, the floor is to a chairman/spokesperson of an Islamic interestgroup, who, not entirely to anyone's surprise claims that.. "Islam has got nothing to do with it".

So there's that folks, people's basic rights to freedom of religion are violated, but no worries, nothing to see here, please disperse, 'cause Islam is "a religion of Peace".


Thanks Sag, and

I honestly have little to comment on your analysis of the Islamic hypocrisy and weak-ass standpoints on violence committed in their religions name. And once again, that was not my point.

Back to the discussion: I'm afraid you don't know much about the type of evangelical groups that advocate active proselytizing and outreach in the muslim world. While some of them are bonafide, the majority of them (largely financed by US-based Christian Right lobby groups) have a warlike discourse, especially with their apocalyptic views on world politics (in which amongst others the UN SG or the Pope have been declared agents of the Antichrist), which I honestly would not like to see being spread amongst masses of Iranians or Somalis. I'm not a pacifist, but I do believe less war is better for solving some urgent problems, be it mass migration, terrorism, or econimic under-development.
Your question to me: the benign, intellectual catholicism would work for me. Please take note of the fact that dialogue and cooperation between world faiths, not provocation and/or conversion, is one of the official guidelines of that church.

I get very uncomfortable

with this post. It suddenly doesnt seem to matter what spectrum of christianity we are talking about, let alone the question if this website should be a having an evangelizing function (why don't you get clearer about that Mr.Belien?). When we direct our criticism to the muslim world, we have little problem listing its excesses for everyone to see, as Paganinis post, once again, illustrates (dont get me wrong I am, and I know a significant part of the european muslim community is too, utterly digusted by these practices tremendously and they should be fought by all means possible).

On the christian side of things, does it at all matter to you what style of christianity we talk about?
Westboro Baptist Church?

Lords Liberation Army? (Joseph Kony claims to be christian like Bin Ladin claims to be muslim)

Christian supporters of stoning?

Beat up your kids in love for the Lord?

The war-like apocaplyptic language of the "Left behind"-series Pat Robertsons 700-club ?

Anything goes? Just say the right Name (e.g. Jesus in stead of Allah) and we're all satisfied?




Get real. The vast majority of Christians lead lives that threaten no one. For any idiot living in America or the EU to suggest otherwise is ridiculous Are you too clueless to notice that there is no body count on the Chritian scorecard versus Islam? Conservative Chritians can't even get porn off of the airwaves or abortion overturned for God's sake. They are a threat to no one, you fool.

It's just so stupid and disingenuous for you to suggest otherwise. What really pisses you off is anyone that has a religious life, own up to that. Outside of your secular smugness, you are a bigot that can't discern goodness nor evil when it's hjacked by a religion. Ironically, I'm sure you think you are virtuous.


Are you the kind that has to resort to abusive language to express your difference of opinion? If so, just tell me and I'll gladly ignore you.
As for now:
I wasnt really talking about body count scorecards. I know they are there, and that pure religious violence today is almost exclusively islamicate in origin (although I would like to consider the amount of pastors and rabbis and monks blessing the weapons in Iraq or Israel or Sri Lanka for honesty's sake too. It is a different organisational level and impact but in nature the same phenomenon).
I just would like to know which kind of christianity we are talking about before we present it as a possible way out of the problem with islam.
I do know that certain forms of evangelical protestantism can be cause and driving force for conflicts, let alone the devastating social impact they have on certain communities.

@ Nataraja

I come back to my previous writings:
Stop the name callings and put the fu....s in jail when they do something wrong, christians and muslims, hindus and zoroastrians.
We are a secular society and have laws, mostly not too bad.
Apply them. Of course 80 % of the jailpopulation will be muslim but if that is the case fine, it would mean they have to adjust themselves to our laws or leave. It is really very simple if Millequéquettes, Onckelinx and Di Rupo would stop to interfere.


Lords Liberation Army is christian in name, but actually a mixture of marxism and traditional african religions. Influence of Kony doesn't pass the borders of Uganda, even not the ethnic borders of his followers, it's more ethnic separatism then religion.

Typical for many protestant factions are a certain kind of bible-fanatism (OT, not the NT) although it's quite innocent (and very very boring) most of the time. Ofcourse, in america they have a certain kind of freaky organisations, like that "God hates fags"-guys, but even they don't represent 'protestantism', I see it more as a marginal fringe in America, nothing more.

Anyway, that's one of the reasons why Catholicism is the most superior form of christianity: it's not about 'the bible', it's about 'the word', and more important, natural law and the teachings/theologians of the church.

But personnaly I also love all kinds of Orthodox faith, also in the ME, Africa (Ethiopia) and India.

And teaching christ to non-christians must not be seen as 'evangelisation'. It's presenting them our civilisation, one of our most important fundaments and the most influential 'man' on earth.

@Nataraja: that first sentence doesn't help..

.. to support any point you'd like to make.


What exactly would your problem be when a Muslim leaves Islam? I second your plea for drawing qualitative distinctions (and maybe drawing a line somewhere), but I'd welcome a wide range of initiatives, even among some christian sects, to lobby for Christ among Muslims, especially in Europe.

If politics wasn't so much dominated by progressive correctness, it could even be added to the arsenal of social engineering tools: help Muslims convert to (traditional, ancient, time-honoured) Christianity. When today some vaguely Islamic youngsters terrorize neighbourhoods, there's now a growing chance that they'll meet orthodox Islamic youthworkers (is that proper Engl.?) to keep them in check. These Islamic beards are more and more hired by local administrators, another tragic example of 'cultural sensitivity'.

Why not bring in the missionaries and hand the tons of euros to them (perhaps on a no cure no pay base?), instead of those Islamic fundos?

What would your preferred scenario be?

- let the street "educate" them (current sit.), and let the State repress them (after a temporary pay-off through welfare).

- hand them over to Islamists, who are always on the lookout for fresh recrutes. Until recently, they weren't paid for it by the State, but that's changing fast.

- wait until that elusive "moderate" or "European Islam" suddenly materializes from a heady cocktail of wishfull thinking, hubris and progressive political correctness, and then hope that somehow the resulting "worldview" will appeal to the majority of them?

- let today's schoolmasters, -coaches -buddies, 'educational change agents" or whatever they're called, continue their  job of teaching them "respect" for respect's sake, co-opting the degenerate lingo of gangsta subpopculture?

- let radical State bureaucrats (in Western countries, but also - and more overtly every day - from Turkey, Morocco et c.) take a shot at it and turn them progressively into agressive statolatrines? zealotic worshippers of State power? [statolatrists, statolatricians.. oh well]

- give Jezus a chance to also (pro-actively) have suffered for them. Wouldn't cost society a penny, would it? Or would you rather suffer yourself? Because you already do, at least financially. Taxpayer's Crucible.




Oh, and @Brazentide: love your concluding remark!


What do you mean with 'hardcore (christian) fundamentalism': are pentacostals (or other christians) chopping off the heads of buddhists like muslims do in Thailand and the Philipines ? Are they burning down mosques like muslims do with churches in Indonesia ? Are they veiling their women like leppars ? Are they enforcing sharia-law, like in Nigeria where muslims have installed the quranic right to beat their 'disobedient wife' ? Are christians stoning raped women like muslims do in Somalia ? Are pentacostals hanging minors like in Iran ? Are they kidnapping non-christian girls and 'marrying' them off to christians after forced conversion like muslims do with young christian girls in Egypt (sometimes also in Turkey)?

Do you actually know what you are talking about ?

How strange.

A plea for conversion to the True Lord and Saviour for all humankind on Brusselsjournal. Even more remarkable that you don't seem to make any qualitative difference between what kind of christianity should be the norm then that muslims should convert to (by the way, should hindus, sikhs, buddhists, jews and secular humanists stay stear clear? or is this a universal call?). The aggressive Pentecostalism (which is nowadays mostly a brand carried by the explosively growing African and Asian Evangelical movements, including their countless "immigrant churches" in just about every European city. The critics of "Eurabia" seem largely silent about these hardcore fundamentalist church groups that denounce western values just as strongly as their muslim neighbours in the mosque next door.) or intellectual, enlightened catholicism.

A strange, confusing message Mr Belien. I hope the rest of your readership thinks the same.     

These are the kind of immigrants Europe needs.

Considering that Christianity is the primary and fundamental cornerstone of western civilization, I find it hard to believe that anyone would be opposed to conservative amounts of Christian immigrants from the Middle East, Africa, Asia or elsewhere (especially if they are fleeing Muslim persecution in their own countries). These peoples would be a boon to the anti-jihad movement as well as having another voice against the secular leftism in white Europe that has led to the disastrous problems we see today.

If you can't see past race to find your allies in the battle for your own civilization then you truly are manifesting the racism that the multi-culturalists blindingly accuse you of.