Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Son of Hamas Leader Embraces Christianity

It is gratifying that despite such intense persecution and efforts of Islamicists to stop men and women trapped in religion to secure liberty through the Lord Jesus Christ, the Truth cannot be bound or trapped. And, as we showed for instance in Vol 11 No 2, multitudes continue to flock out of Islam into a living relationship with their Maker, the Lord Jesus Christ. A recent notable example is the case of Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of one of the most influential leaders of the militant Hamas organization in the West Bank and raised up in a strict Islamic family. Thirty years old Mosab renounced his Muslim faith about 18 months ago, but has recently, damning the ominous consequences, decided to come open with the decision hoping in particular to use it to draw attention to how Palestinian leadership is “misleading” and exploiting its people. He has had to leave behind in Ramallah, his affluent and influential family, where he is regarded as heir apparent. He is currently seeking asylum in the United States, where he attends an evangelical Christian church, Barabbas Road, in San Diego, California. His extraordinary story can be found in the Daily Telegraph of 24th August or Barabbas Road church website (www.whoisbarabbas.com/joseph.html)."
"I knew from the beginning my family would face an impossible situation…. They are definitely suffering because of what I've done…They are not a regular family, they are a very famous family, and Muslims around the world praise my family, praise my father. So when I came with a step like this, it was impossible to think about, it was crazy.
His father, Hassan Yousef, a highly respected sheikh born in the West Bank town of al-Ghaniya near Ramallah, is a founding member of Hamas and has spent more than a decade in Israeli jails for his involvement with Hamas. He was actually in prison when he "got the worst news in his life" - that his son had become a Christian and left Ramallah. However, according to Mosab, “at the same time he (his father) sent me a message of love.
"Everybody is asking him to disown me. You understand if he disowns me he will give terrorists a chance to kill me. … He loves me as a son and he believes that what I've done was something I believed in, but at the same time it's very difficult for him to understand and he won't be able to understand."
It was after a chance encounter nine years ago with a British missionary that Yousef began exploring Christianity. He began to secretly study the Bible and was struck by the central tenet "love your enemies". Joseph, as his friends now call hi, does not however advocate the "collapse of Islam", but rather for people to acknowledge that after 1,400 years "it's not working any more". Abdel-Jaber Fuqaha, an Islamist parliamentarian and friend of the family who described Mr Yousef as "a straightforward, observant Muslim" summarized the situation for all parties concerned: “It is the most difficult thing, to convert from one religion to another."

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