Last year, Jason Jones and I wrote at The Stream to Pope Francis. We begged him to reconsider his statements on Muslim immigration. This in the wake of the murder of French priest Fr. Jacques Hamel. Muslims slit that priest’s throat while he was saying Mass. Not in Egypt or Iraq. In France.
Now a much more powerful document has appeared. The authors? Men and women who risked Fr. Hamel’s fate. Indeed, from an orthodox Muslim point of view, they invited it. The signers are converts from Islam to Christianity. There’s a penalty for that in Muslim sharia. And hence in many Muslim countries, such as our “ally” Saudi Arabia. It’s death. Where the government won’t cooperate, family members sometimes murder converts from Islam to other faiths, for impugning their families’ “honor.” An Ohio girl fled her immigrant parents in 2009 when they learned she’d become a Christian. ISIS regularly issues threats against “apostates” like these authors.
Please read this prophetic document. Read every word. It speaks in the voice of the early Christians. Of St. Paul and of Justin Martyr. Those believers defended their faith. They admitted that it might cost them their lives. That’s the risk these modern Christians have taken. And they wonder why the shepherd of one billion Catholics keeps saying things about Islam that simply aren’t true. First some key passages from the letter. Then some analysis.
The authors open:
Many of us have tried to contact you, on many occasions and for several years, and we have never received the slightest acknowledgement of our letters or requests for meetings. You do not like to beat around the bush, and neither do we, so allow us to say frankly that we do not understand your teaching about Islam, as we read in paragraphs 252 and 253 of Evangelii Gaudium. …
Maybe you’ve never read that papal document by Pope Francis. Here are the relevant paragraphs:
We must never forget that [Muslims] “profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, who will judge humanity on the last day”. The sacred writings of Islam have retained some Christian teachings; Jesus and Mary receive profound veneration and it is admirable to see how Muslims both young and old, men and women, make time for daily prayer and faithfully take part in religious services. Many of them also have a deep conviction that their life, in its entirety, is from God and for God. They also acknowledge the need to respond to God with an ethical commitment and with mercy towards those most in need. …
We Christians should embrace with affection and respect Muslim immigrants to our countries in the same way that we hope and ask to be received and respected in countries of Islamic tradition. I ask and I humbly entreat those countries to grant Christians freedom to worship and to practice their faith, in light of the freedom which followers of Islam enjoy in Western countries! Faced with disconcerting episodes of violent fundamentalism, our respect for true followers of Islam should lead us to avoid hateful generalisations, for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence. [emphasis added]
To this these followers of Christ who risked all to escape Islam reply:
Islam came AFTER Christ, and so is, and can only be, an Antichrist (see 1 Jn 2.22), and one of the most dangerous because it presents itself as the fulfillment of Revelation (of which Jesus would have been only a prophet). If Islam is a good religion in itself, as you seem to teach, why did we become Catholic? Do not your words question the soundness of the choice we made at the risk of our lives? Islam prescribes death for apostates (Quran 4.89, 8.7-11), do you know?
In fact, as long as Islam wants us to be its enemy, we are, and all our protestations of friendship cannot change anything. As a proper Antichrist, Islam exists only as an enemy of all: “Between us and you there is enmity and hatred forever, until you believe in Allah alone!” (Qur’an 60.4) For the Qur’an, Christians “are only impurity” (Quran 9.28),” “the worst of Creation” (Qur’an 98.6), all condemned to Hell (Qur’an 4.48), so Allah must exterminate them (Quran 9.30). We must not be deceived by the Quranic verses deemed tolerant, because they have all been repealed by the verse of the Sword (Quran 9.5).
This article continues at [Stream.org] Muslim Converts to Christ Beg Pope Francis to Stop Deceiving Himself