NOTE: The Feb. 2 event has been cancelled due to weather conditions. The presentations on Tuesdays Feb. 9 through March 1 are still scheduled at this time.
Former devout Muslim and current devout Christian Dr. Mark Christian will present a five-week series on understanding Islam each Tuesday between Feb. 2 and March 1, 2016, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Concordia. The first session will be in the Thom Leadership Education Center auditorium, and the additional four will be in Weller Hall auditorium.
“Dr. Christian’s insights give us a new perspective on the realities of many people throughout the world who follow the teachings of Islam,” said Raymond Huebschman, a member of St. John Lutheran Church in Seward and an organizer of the series. “His direct experience with Muslim leaders and his journey to discovering the salvation found in Jesus Christ will be eye-opening for those who have an opportunity to hear him speak at Concordia.”
Christian’s educational series will include presentations on his conversion to Christianity, the experiences of Muhammad, the growth of Islam and various political and faith-related issues regarding Islam and Christianity.
Christian was born and raised in an upscale Cairo suburb known as Heliopolis. His father was a lieutenant general in the Egyptian military and the personal family physician of then-president of Egypt, Anwar Sadat. From a very young age Christian was the constant companion of his father.
Following in his father’s footsteps, Christian learned Islamic theology and tradition at a young age, devoting himself to memorizing and learning the Quran. He was teaching in the Masjid by the age of 13, and ultimately he served at mosques as an Imam. He also became a physician like his father.
However, after years of extensive theological and historical study, Christian began to question some of the fundamental tenets of Islam. After much research and discovery, he walked away from his Muslim faith and relationships with those who continued to practice it, including his father and uncle.
Christian’s great-uncle is one of the founders of the original Muslim Brotherhood, and Christian’s father remains a highly respected advisor for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt to this day. Over the years, his father and uncle moved up in the organization. Though Christian was never a member himself, his daily interactions with the Muslim Brotherhood through his father and uncle gave him a direct view of their machinations and motivations. Through this high-level access, Christian was afforded exposure to the ideology and objectives of radical Islam, the agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood and the stringent creed of Sharia law.
After nearly 10 years of “spiritual wandering,” Christian came to faith in Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord. Still in Egypt, he struggled to worship secretly for a long time, fearing that he would be found out and beheaded as an apostate.
Christian came to the United States in 2005 and soon discovered the shocking extent of Islamic infiltration in his adopted country. To Christian, a man steeped in both religious and political Islam and who grew up amidst the planning of the Muslim Brotherhood, the recognition of their agenda at work in the United States was almost immediate.
Recognizing the urgency of the threats in the United States and informed by his unique upbringing, Christian responded with the formation of the Global Faith Institute, which aims to inspire the lost and equip the people of the United States with the knowledge and hope of Jesus Christ.