Tito Momen, Jeff Benedict,
My Name Used to Be Muhammad: The True Story of a Muslim Who Became a Christianby: Tito Momen, Jeff Benedict,
“I was raised in a village in Nigeria where my family practiced a harsh form of Islam. When I was a teenager my father sent me to a radical Islamic school in Syria. Later I studied with members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt while pursuing a degree in Islamic studies. It was there, of all places, that I discovered Christianity, a faith I had been taught to despise, along with Judaism. I am the last person you might expect to become a Christian. But I did. And for that I was disowned by my family and sentenced to life in prison.
That’s right. My decision to believe in Jesus Christ cost me my family and my freedom.
But that decision also saved my life and taught me to believe in divine miracles. Some of my fellow inmates committed suicide. Some died of illness brought on by abuse and inhumane conditions. Others simply succumbed to hopelessness. But during my time behind bars, I never gave up hope. I never stopped believing. And after fifteen years I was released. That alone is a miracle.
I’ve written my story to shed light on the suffering of countless others who are victims of religious persecution. Freedom of expression and freedom of worship are sacred rights. Yet still in many parts of the world religious minorities are arrested, abused, or worse.
Although I was falsely imprisoned, beaten, and ridiculed, I don’t harbor any bitterness. Nor do I blame Islam. I recognize that my life experience with Islam has been one of extremes in terms of intolerance and violence. But there are millions of good and sincere Muslims in many countries who love God and family while practicing Islam in a tolerant and positive manner. I consider them my brothers and sisters. At the same time, I am indebted to Jesus Christ and countless Christians from many sects and churches who have accepted me. This book is a tribute to their kindness.”