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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Muslim-Turned-Pastor Says Christians Must Love Muslims

  • Carrie Dedrick
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2015 Apr 01
  • Comments

A former Muslim said that Christians must love Muslims in a speech at the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission’s Leadership Summit. 


Afshin Ziafat was born in Houston, but moved to Iran with his family at age two. They returned to the United States four years later during the Iranian Revolution. Christian Today reports Ziafat is now a Christian pastor, and credits his former English tutor with leading him to Christ. 


In the speech, Ziafat said, "Racial reconciliation is not just a good idea because racial equality is a politically correct idea, but it's because the message of the Gospel is at stake. The name of Jesus is at stake. And so the Gospel tells us that it's by grace alone that we can be restored to God.” 


Ziafat shared the hardships his family faced for being an Iranian family in the United States. 


He said, "It was not easy in 1979 to be from Iran living in America. We had rocks thrown at our window in Houston because people knew our family was from Iran. In high school, kids threatened to beat up my brother and I; my parents' car's tires were slashed."


His Christian English tutor treated him differently than other Americans, with love and respect. She gave Ziafat his first Bible and promised that one day they would be able to read it together. The pastor became a Christian 10 years later. 


“Had any other American given me that New Testament, I would have thrown it away. Because I didn't trust them. You want to win a Muslim for Christ? I believe you have to earn the right to be heard. And she did it by the way she was loving me,” Ziafat said. 


"I am so thankful for this one Christian, when for everyone else it was totally right and natural to hate people from Iran, she went against what's natural and did the Gospel move.”



Publication date: April 1, 2015