Fikret Bocek converted to Christianity from a Muslim background, and he now serves as the pastor of a Protestant church in Izmir, Turkey. On this episode, we’ll be talking with him about why he left Islam, as well as some of the interesting experiences he’s had over the past decade preaching the gospel in a predominantly Muslim context. Fikret and his wife were also recently hospitalized after testing positive for the coronavirus, and we’ll be talking to him about those experiences as well.
It all started with Charlton Heston. I saw Ben Hur and started questioning whether Jesus was really crucified. Muslims don’t believe that he died on the cross. Koran says that instead of Jesus, someone else was crucified in his place. I really like history, so I started looking at some books and encyclopedias. What I was looking for was whether crucifixion was historical, whether Jesus really died on the cross. Encyclopedia Britannica said that Jesus was crucified, and I thought, “That encyclopedia is not an evangelistic book. It’s not trying to proselytize me.” I looked at some other books. Basically, everything was saying that Jesus was crucified except the Islamic sources. Some months later I met a couple who were tourists in Istanbul. They were from America and we started talking. As we were talking, I saw a book in their backpack. It was the NIV Study Bible.Fikret Bocek
TERM TO LEARN
Islam is a major world religion founded by Muhammad in Arabia in the early 7th century AD.
The Arabic word islam means “submission”-specifically, submission to the will of the one God, called Allah in Arabic. Islam is a strictly monotheistic religion, and its adherents, called Muslims, regard the Prophet Muhammad as the last and most perfect of God’s messengers, who include Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and others. The sacred scripture of Islam is the Qur’an, which contains God’s revelations to Muhammad. The sayings and deeds of the Prophet recounted in the sunna are also an important source of belief and practice in Islam. The religious obligations of all Muslims are summed up in the Five Pillars of Islam, which include belief in God and his Prophet and obligations of prayer, charity, pilgrimage, and fasting. The fundamental concept in Islam is the Shari’ah, or Law, which embraces the total way of life commanded by God. Observant Muslims pray five times a day and join in community worship on Fridays at the mosque, where worship is led by an imam. Every believer is required to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, the holiest city, at least once in a lifetime, barring poverty or physical incapacity. Muslims are enjoined to defend Islam against unbelievers through jihad.
(Taken from Encyclopedia Britannica Online)