Mike Westerfield was in the crisis of his life.
He was raised a “Religious Christian,” was involved in his church, and even preached on occasion. But when he had no answers for the Muslim inmates who continued to give him Islamic literature at a Florida prison, he did the unthinkable.
He converted to Islam.
Pew Research estimates that Islam is growing by about one hundred thousand annually in America: “Among those who converted to Islam, a majority come from a Christian background. In fact, about half of all converts to Islam (53%) identified as Protestant before converting; another 20% were Catholic.”
So are Christians in America converting to Islam?
Mike’s story below may serve as anecdotal evidence of the answer.
“The most pressing question”
In this section and the two that follow, Mike shares his testimony:
The most pressing question for me was about the Trinity. I was not sure how to understand it or how to defend it. The inmates began to flood me with Islamic teaching papers, and it seemed to make some sense.
I ended up abandoning Christianity and embraced Islam. I was a Muslim for twelve years and attended an Islamic University for some time in hopes of becoming a Muslim imam or scholar. I was married and, as a family, we became Muslim and dressed accordingly.
I immersed myself in Islamic teaching. I took thirteen classes at an American university that is affiliated with the respected Al-Azhar University in Cairo. This is the spiritual think tank of Sunni Islam, and a degree from Al-Azhar is prestigious. I was quickly becoming the poster boy for Christian converts to Islam
But after seven years of faithful study, I began to have questions I could not find answers for. The more I studied, the more I began to have doubts.
The ex-Muslim who listened
I started looking back into my old books on Christian apologetics from a Bible college I attended and began reading the Bible. I also started reviewing Lee Strobel’s literature in The Case for Christ and The Case for Faith and watched Ravi Zacharias’ videos.
I was eventually introduced to Abdu Murray, who was with Embrace the Truth International. He was an ex-Muslim turned Christian apologist. He was the first ex-Muslim I met and could share my thoughts and doubts with.
He talked openly with me and did not condemn me. He listened as to why I was now considering leaving Islam after being fanatical about it at one time.
A dream of Jesus
And Mike’s testimony is arresting:
In 2012 I ended up having a dream about Jesus, and in it I was covered in his blood! I couldn’t understand why I had this dream, but it was truly amazing, and I couldn’t get it out of my mind.
Jesus’ blood filled the scene in my dream. I tried to run from it, but it covered me entirely! I felt such peace and love, and Jesus’ eyes pierced my soul!
I called Abdu Murray and told him about my dream, and he was thrilled! The night I had the dream, he and Josh McDowell had prayed that Jesus would appear to me in a dream and show himself to me!
The God of heaven graciously heard their prayer and sent a dream that convinced me his blood was more than sufficient to forgive me of my sins. Hallelujah!
Right then, I knew in my heart that Jesus was the Son of God. I had never prayed to receive Jesus as my Savior. My family was Christian, but I had been merely religious and trying to work my way to heaven. My dad prayed faithfully for me to meet Jesus and have a personal relationship with him and because that was what was missing.
Finally, I fully surrendered everything to Jesus a year later in January of 2013 and was born again! It was glorious! I truly understood my need to repent of my sins and to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior. The Bible says: “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8–9).
Today, I am blessed to have completed a master’s degree in Christian studies. How privileged I am to serve Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I truly love sharing the gospel and especially with Muslims who are in desperate need of the forgiveness that only the Cross of Christ can bring.
Also, if you have someone in your family or a friend who has left the faith and converted to Islam, don’t give up on them. Keep praying. Keep loving them. Tell your friends to pray for them. Storm the gates of heaven together. That’s what my father did, and God answered his prayers.
Don’t give up because this is a matter of life and death.
Are Christians converting to Islam?
So back to our original question: Are Christians converting to Islam?
Pew Research gives us additional insight: “In recent years, the number of American Muslims has been growing steadily, by around 100,000 annually. But the fact that the shares of people who enter and leave Islam are roughly equal suggests that conversions to and from the faith are having little impact on the group’s overall growth.”
In other words, Islam is growing by conversion, and Christians are converting, but the attrition rate keeps it from seeing significant gains. And most Christians who do convert, like Mike, leave Islam later.
To catch Mike’s powerful story on video, visit IFoundtheTruth.com.