By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
The 30 year old son of a prominent Hamas leader in the West Bank, while speaking about his courageous conversion to Christianity, said he believes the only chance for peace in the Holy Land is for Muslims to convert to Christianity.
According to an article by the Catholic News Agency, Masab-Joseph Yousef, the son of Hamas founder Sheikh Hassan Yousef told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that he converted four years ago without telling his father.
“For years I helped my father, the Hamas leader, and he didn’t know that I had converted, only that I had Christian friends,” he told Haaretz.
Yousef, who now lives in California, said an invitation to learn more about Christianity began his journey to conversion.
“I was very enthusiastic about what I heard. I began to read the Bible every day and I continued with religion lessons. I did it in secret, of course. I used to travel to the Ramallah hills, to places like the Al Tira neighborhood, and to sit there quietly with the amazing landscape and read the Bible.”
“A verse like ‘Love thine enemy’ had a great influence on me,” he continued. “At this stage I was still a Muslim and I thought that I would remain one. But every day I saw the terrible things done in the name of religion by those who considered themselves ‘great believers.’”
He went on to say that further study of Islam no longer satisfied him.
“I feel that Christianity has several aspects. It’s not only a religion but a faith. I now see God through Jesus and can tell about him for days on end, whereas the Muslims won’t be able to say anything about God.”
Yousef said he now considers Islam to be a “big lie,” alleging that people who supposedly represent Islam “admired Mohammed more than God, killed innocent people in the name of Islam, beat their wives and don’t have any idea what God is.” He has no doubt such people will go to Hell, he says, and proclaimed that “the way of Jesus” is the “one way to Paradise.”
Yousef hopes his family will “open their eyes to Jesus” and that he will eventually be able to return to the Holy Land.
“I know that I’m endangering my life and am even liable to lose my father, but I hope that he’ll understand this and that God will give him and my family the patience and willingness to open their eyes to Jesus and to Christianity. Maybe one day I’ll be able to return to Palestine and to Ramallah together with Jesus, in the Kingdom of God,” he told Haaretz.
Meanwhile, Yousef is trying to start an organization to teach the occupied territories in Palestine about Christianity. He also appealed for the conversion of his former co-religionists so that “they’ll have an opportunity to correct their mistakes, to become better people and to bring a chance for peace in the Middle East.”
“Many people will hate me for this interview, but I’m telling them that I love all of them, even those who hate me,” he commented. “I invite all the people, including the terrorists among them, to open their hearts and believe.”
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