Kuwaiti Prince Abdullah al-Sabah Converts to Christianity?
File this one under the "Interesting If True" heading. In a recent issue of the Vatican Insider (January 16, 2012), Marco Tosatti reports on "Kuwait: The prince's mysterious conversion," informing us that "a Kuwaiti royal prince has become a follower of Jesus Christ" and has posted the affirmation in an audio file using his full name, Abdullah al-Sabah, on the Arabic Christian satellite TV channel al-Haqiqa, which transmits Christian religious programing:
In his audio file, Abdullah declared: "First of all, I fully agree with the distribution of this audio file and I now declare that if they kill me because of it, then I will appear before Jesus Christ and be with him for all eternity." In this statement, the prince demonstrates his awareness of the fate in store for a martyr of the faith, according to Christian doctrine. The television channel stated that Abdullah is a member of the royal family, and that he recently renounced his faith in Islam and became a Christian, without specifying which particular branch of Christianity he had chosen. After stating his full name, the prince declared: "I will accept whatever they do to me, because the truth in the Bible has guided me towards the right path."This sounds like evangelical Christianity to me . . . except that it sounds more like a hoax, particularly since a Kuwaiti prince by the name of Azbi al-Sabah insists: "There's no one by that name in the Kuwaiti royal family." He could be lying about that, of course, but getting caught in a lie so easily checked leads me to think he's telling the truth. This doesn't rule out the possibility that Abdullah al-Sabah is a pseudonym taken on by a real convert to hide his true identity, though such would seem to contradict the reported audio. Anyway, if the reported conversion is genuine, we may be hearing more about this in the near future.
To this Kuwaiti report, Tosatti adds a bonus point about neighboring Iran and the growth of Christianity there, a worrisome issue for Iran's theocratic Shi'ite state, leading the Iranian authorities to utter typically paranoid statements:
After Heidar Moslehi, the Iranian intelligence minister, asked Muslim seminaries to become proactive in stopping the spread of Christianity, a high-ranking cleric declared that Evangelical Christianity is the most horrifying intelligence and security organisation in the world. This statement seems to have appeared on press agencies close to the Revolutionary Guard.By "non-traditional Christianity," Tosatti means evangelicalism, which includes pentacostalism, a variant on evangelical Christianity that seems to appeal to a lot of individuals outside of the West. If these folks make up "the most horrifying intelligence and security organisation in the world," then I can only conclude that the Holy Ghost must be involved in espionage, which rather fits the insider lingo that refers to spies as "spooks"!
In a conference on "New Age cults" held in Varamin, a district south of Teheran, Akhond Mohsen Alizadeh declared: "We should not allow these cults to question Islamic jurisprudence under the cover of mysticism." He went on to add: "They tell the youth that God is wrathful and horrible in Islam but is love in Christianity. Also, Christian preachers answer the questions and doubts of youth in their own interest and try to attract them." Nevertheless a whole series of signs seem to indicate that non-traditional Christianity -- there are Catholics and Orthodox Christians in Iran as well as a large Armenian community -- is spreading. The regime's press recently spoke of them with concern and the number of cases of repression and condemnation following conversions is growing.
Spooky indeed, but with God of their side, meaning that on the side of the Iranian theocratic state is . . .