Much has been said lately about the long-term impact that mass migration to Europe from Muslim majority countries may have. What few people seem to know is that there is growing evidence of conversions to Christianity on the part of Muslims who are migrating to Europe.
Many of these conversions seem to be genuine encounters with Jesus Christ rather than simply attempts to smooth one’s entry into a new, majority Christian country. Although the evidence is still anecdotal at this point, the increase in the conversation about this trend is certainly happening. In fact, some reports have the numbers of such conversions reaching the thousands. Assuming this report of muslims converting to Christianity is true, one possible reason for it is the captivating appeal that the joy of the Gospel can have to people, especially those who are searching for an answer to intractable suffering and violence.
For the time being, leaders of Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, and other Christian communities in these countries are rightly remaining cautious, given that such refugees may see conversion to Christianity as improving their chances for asylum. It will be interesting, however, to see how this apparent trend develops in the future and what kind of effects it has on both Catholic and Protestant Christianity throughout Europe. Among other things, an influx of committed believers to Christ could actually stabilize or even reinvigorate Europe’s Christian heritage, which has largely been lost over the past fifty to seventy-five years of secularization. What an irony it would be if such converts from Islam somehow end up buttressing Europe’s historic Christian identity.