I found myself persecuting a guy for being Christian. Telling him he’d be damned to hell for not being like me, the chosen one, the Roman Catholic. The only words said back to me were, “you are ignorant”.
This of course I did not believe. They, the non-Catholics, were the ones who were ignorant, they knew nothing about God, they knew nothing about salvation, their’ faith was based on air. Though, the fact that I did not know of what kind of air, made me wonder if there was something out there I needed to know.
My conversion started in a chat room.
While chatting, I came across a guy who introduced himself as A. He was 17, very handsome, lived in Saudi Arabia, and most importantly: he was a Muslim. The reason why I did not push him away immediately was because I wanted to see if I could convert him.
While our “friendship” developed, I wasted no time in building up a strong debate. I quickly started researching Islam, only to crash into a concrete wall. To my surprise their religion actually made sense, it was flawless; which I did not expect.
This only brought back to mind that guy who had once told me I was ignorant. Could he possibly be right? Was I that lost lamb who had strained from the right path?
I searched for answers only to find that every religion claimed to have the recipe for salvation. How could someone possibly decipher this, and claim to be in the right religion?
I was completely shattered and empty because everything I had learned to be true was put into question. I didn’t know what to believe. Actually I didn’t just want to believe in any religion, I wanted to believe in the right one.
At this point, I can’t lie; my relationship with A had moved from a conversion mission to an actual friendship. By dissolving into each others cultures he showed me that we weren’t as different as the world made us to be. It didn’t take much to see that Abdulrahman loved his god and had a blind belief in him; I envied that. I felt that if I converted to Islam I could get the sense of completion I desired.
The first step to converting to Islam was saying a prayer claiming that Allah was my only god. While reading that passage I couldn’t help but feel empty. For the only god that could ever bring joy to my heart, was my god. The god who was endlessly forgiving, the god that holds my hand throughout life, the god I have grown to love. The god I talk about is God.
Yes I had converted to a new religion; I am a Roman Catholic. But not the roman catholic from before; for that was not a true catholic. I am the Roman Catholic that does not persecute and judge, but the one who accepts all of god’s people.
I believe in change
I believe in equality
I believe religion is a constant act of faith
I believe in God
This I believe.