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‘To find safety,’ more Muslims reportedly converting to Christianity in Middle East

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Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 02/02/17

From The Telegraph:

Ibrahim Ali remembers his first church service well. The smell of the candles, the cheap plywood pews, and the hymn singing that sounded so foreign to him at the time. The 57-year-old Muslim Syrian never imagined that when he fled to neighbouring Lebanon to seek refuge from the war that he would end up converting to Christianity.

But Mr Ali is not alone. Hundreds of Muslim refugees living in Lebanon have been baptized in the past year alone.

The situation for refugees in the country – which is hosting more than a million and a half Syrians that make up a quarter of its total population – has become increasingly dire over the course of the six-year conflict. Some say they converted to benefit from the generous aid distributed by Christian charities, others to help their asylum applications to Europe, the United States, Canada and elsewhere.  Christian converts are more likely to be persecuted in the Middle East than those who stay Muslims, and are thus more eligible for asylum. Converting to Christianity is virtually unheard of in Syria, where Islam is dominant and freedom of religion is limited. But Lebanon has a sizeable Christian population and a growing number of evangelical churches, which began springing up across the country in response to the crisis over the border.

Read more. 

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