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December 13, 2004

Why I'm another religious freak

SAN JOSE, CA (PRWEB) December 13, 2004 -- Donald Fareed, an ordained Christian pastor and former Shiite Muslim, recently delivered a sermon entitled "Why I am Not a Muslim," and the provocative message stirred up a major controversy in his local San Francisco Bay Area media and in the Muslim community.

Fareed, Founder & President of the San Jose-based Persian Ministries International (PMI, , was invited to deliver the message to the Sunnyvale Nazarene Church in Sunnyvale, CA on November 28, 2004. Without Fareed"s knowledge, the little church put the title of his sermon on the marquee to promote the event, and after an outcry from two members of the community -- one Muslim and one not -- the result was explosive.

Fareed is an Iranian American from a Shiite Muslim background who fled his homeland following the Islamic Revolution in Iran in the late-1970s. Rebelling against the perceived harshness of Islam"s holy laws as interpreted by its leaders, he moved to the United States. After a long spiritual journey during which he dabbled in Sufism, New Age religion, and Scientology, he converted to evangelical Christianity about 14 years ago.

"The goal of the message was not to offend Muslims, but to communicate why I changed my religion," Fareed says. Fareed hosts a weekly television show in the San Francisco Bay Area that broadcasts the Christian Gospel globally via Muslim satellite television & the Internet to about 30 million people each week in Farsi, the Persian language.

As a result of this effort, he reports that thousands of Muslims in Iran and around the world have converted from Islam to Christianity. Fareed"s organization, Persian Ministries International (PMI), is also currently planting home churches inside Iran, where one of the largest house church movements in the Islamic world is growing among students, according to a December 4 issue of Voice of the Martyrs.

"With the numbers of young people we are reaching, and growth of home churches, we are making significant strides in the Muslim world, and that is a positive sign," Fareed says. "These young Muslim converts who are coming to Christ today are the people who will be leading Iran tomorrow. I believe Iran will someday be a model of democracy in the Middle East." >>> Full text

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