Iranian Preacher Converting Muslims in Europe

Risks Reprisals to Teach About Jesus

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LONDON, APR. 10, 2001 (Zenit.org).- A preacher from Iran has started a low-key campaign to convert Muslims in Britain and northern Europe to Christianity, the Telegraph newspaper reports.

The 43-year-old evangelist was forced to leave Tehran because of threats to his life after he began preaching to Muslims about Jesus Christ. He uses a false name for safety reasons and preaches in Midlands hotels to Muslims, many of Iranian origin.

He does this knowing that in Iran and some other Muslim countries attempting such conversions are considered worthy of the death penalty. In Britain, he is free to approach any person of any faith, but is aware that this could provoke reprisals.

In an interview, Mohammed, as he is known, told the Telegraph: "If you are a Muslim and you change your faith in Iran they are allowed to kill you. You are unclean. It does not happen in practice, but the provision is there. The extremists believe that if they kill me or Salman Rushdie they will go to paradise. The threat is everywhere."

Determined not to be intimidated, Mohammed has begun broadcasting Bible lessons in Farsi on the radio which are transmitted to Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikstan.

In Britain he has a following of a few hundred Muslim converts and is seeking Farsi-speaking disciples to help him look after his growing flock.

He held a conference in the Netherlands and 147 Muslims came. More than 90 became Christian during the week.