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ICC Note: In the midst of the migrant crisis in Europe a great hope comes in the form of vast numbers of Muslim conversions to Christianity. The Archdioceses in Vienna Austria has reported 5 to 10 converts a week. This trend, however, comes with some terrifying backlash, as those migrants changing their faith from Islam are considered apostates for which, in Sharia law, the penalty is death. Retaliation against those converting comes from both strangers and family members in these communities. 

04/15/2016 Europe (BrietBart) – One of the more surprising aspects of the migrant crisis has been the number of Muslims from places like Syria and Afghanistan, that have been converting to Christianity in Austrian churches. The Archdioceses of the Austrian capital in Vienna can hardly keep up with the requests as they get five to ten per week.

So far this year 83 percent of the recorded adult baptisms into the Catholic faith have been Muslims compared to 2015 when they were only 33 percent reports Kurier.

The numbers could grow even more in 2017 since the process for adult conversion to Catholicism called the Right of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) can typically take up to a year to complete. The RCIA teaches new converts about the faith and it’s various rituals before candidates are often baptized over the following Easter.

Muslims who convert and leave Islam face a very real potential for violence and even death. A migrant to Austria who now calls himself Christopher told the Kurier,”this could be my death sentence.” Christopher came to Austria in 2012 and requested that his new Christian name be used because he fears not only reprisal against himself but his family as well.

The Catholic Church in Austria is well aware of what radical Muslims will do to new converts if they find out they were previously Muslims. Muslims consider leaving the Islamic faith as apostasy and the penalty according to the Sharia is death. The church is told of threats to parishioners on a regular basis and many new to the faith are justifiably reluctant to talk to outsiders.

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