The Elephant in the Room: The Christian Conversion of Vulnerable Muslim Refugees

“Though it is obvious to Muslims, it must be reiterated that responding in a like deceitful, manipulative manner, or even with violence is prohibited. Such reactions only provide fodder for more opportunist “I am under threat” stories aimed at discrediting Islam as a violent religion.

Whilst it is easy to fulminate and criticise Christians for what they in essence believe is divinely ordained work, the reality remains that this situation represents a failure of Muslim institutions to more effectively support refugees socially and spiritually. When local mosques and charities are battling allegations of “extremism”, chronically apologising for an attack they have no hand in, and busy managing PR in the face of institutional/media prejudice against Islam and Muslims instead of tending to the most vulnerable, this failure is understandable. But it is not excusable. There is nothing more paramount for Muslims then the protection of Iman (faith).

A reorientation of intentions, focus and resources is required to address the material, psychological and spiritual needs of refugees.”


baptised Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian

The question needs to be raised. Muslim organisations have generally been silent. Scholars and Imams also seem to be mute on the issue.  And Muslim civil society, bar a few examples, has generally been inert in its response. It seems the continuous abstraction of Muslims into the counter-terrorism discourse is taking its toll and numbing the minds to the elephant in the room.

The question relates to Muslim refugees entering Europe and subsequently converting to Christianity.

The Christian Focus on Muslims

In May, Cardinal Kurt Koch, the head of the Church’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, issued a statement during an interfaith meeting of senior Catholic and Jewish leaders – and in the absence of Muslims – held by Cambridge University’s Woolf Institute:

“We have a mission to convert Muslims to Christianity… We have a mission to convert all non-Christian religions’ people [except]…

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