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Vatican newspaper offers reflection on conversions to Islam

July 08, 2016

The Vatican newspaper has published a front-page reflection on conversions to Islam.

Summarizing a recent book by journalist Virginie Riva examining the conversions of 11 French women, historian Lucetta Scaraffia writes that the women were between the ages of 25 and 35, university educated, not attracted by terrorism, and either agnostic or Catholic.

These women were drawn to Islam, Scaraffia said, through their friendship with Muslim students who witnessed to their religion, delighted in studying the Quran, and did not downplay Islam’s requirements regarding prayer and the role of the sexes.

Accepting invitations to Ramadan meals, these women, “very often” the children of divorced parents, were especially attracted by the warmth of family life and hospitality. In Islam, the converts also found answers to their sometimes “anguished” questions about the meaning of life and death.

These stories, Scaraffia writes, recall practices that were once common among French Catholics, such family hospitality on Christmas Eve and the recitation of the family Rosary.

Human warmth, rather than bureaucratic planning, is crucial, said Scaraffia, showing the importance of Pope Francis’s desire to “to create a warm and welcoming community, to witness with humility but with tenacity to our faith.”

 
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  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Jul. 09, 2016 1:04 AM ET USA

    My experience with devout Muslims is similar; warm,caring individuals with a strong sense of family primacy. What I see as lacking is no designated head who speaks for and governs. They need a Pope , they have.no one to present a united face to the world