From Cairo to Christ: How One Muslim's Faith Journey Shows the Way for Others, By Abu Atallah and Kent A. Van Til alt

From Cairo to Christ

How One Muslim's Faith Journey Shows the Way for Others

by Abu Atallah and Kent A. Van Til

From Cairo to Christ
  • Length: 212 pages
  • Published: July 11, 2017
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 9083
  • ISBN: 9780830890835

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"If I were to become a Christian, it would mean not only changing my religion but changing my whole identity, and bringing shame upon my family. My whole family is Muslim, and my society and culture were Muslim. . . . Changing from Islam to Christianity would mess up my life forever."

So writes Abu Atallah, who grew up in Cairo as an ordinary Egyptian Muslim. He was deeply embedded in his family, religion, and country. For a time he was part of the Muslim Brotherhood. But as he came of age, he began to encounter people who followed a different way, who called themselves Christians. And a radically new life became possible—at great cost and risk, yet with great joy.

From Cairo to Christ is the remarkable story of how one Muslim man was drawn to the Christian faith, and how he later became an ambassador for Christ with a ministry in the Muslim world. Atallah has personally helped hundreds of Muslims come to Christ.

This narrative sheds light on Islamic cultural dynamics and what Westerners should know about Muslim contexts. Despite the challenges facing believers from Muslim backgrounds, God is bringing surprising numbers of Muslims to Christ. Discover how the good news of Jesus transforms lives in Muslim communities around the world.

"From Cairo to Christ explores the difficulties Muslim converts face as they convert to Christ. Author Abu Atallah is an Egyptian who writes as an insider who became a believer decades ago. Those unacquainted with Islamic beliefs and practices will appreciate this easy-to-read primer."

Phil Parshall, SIM USA, author of The Cross and the Crescent

"This book offers a uniquely personal account of the complex and challenging journey of many who convert from Islam to Christianity. The story of Abu 'Stephen' Atallah—told with the help of his friend and coauthor Kent Van Til—is especially timely as the West struggles to meet the needs of massive numbers of Arab refugees fleeing chaos and civil war in their home countries. The authors see this humanitarian crisis as an opportunity for Christians to share the love of Christ."

John C. Knapp, president and professor, Hope College

"Abu Atallah is the real thing. I know because I am his colleague in the greatest rescue operation of our day: introducing 1.7 billion Muslims to the Savior. He could easily obtain an enviable position as a senior pastor in an American church, but like very few other Muslim-background believers, he and his dear wife have given themselves day and night to rescuing those who would like to assassinate him. This very humble, grateful account of his story is so real it's difficult to put down."

Greg Livingstone, founder, Frontiers, senior associate, World Outreach of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church

"Your heart will be stirred as Abu recounts the journey that he has been on, both prior to knowing Jesus personally and then as a fully devoted follower of Christ. His life and testimony have richly blessed my own walk with Christ. This book will cause you to consider your own commitment to the cause of Christ."

Dave Gibson, pastor of missions and evangelism, Grace Church, Eden Prairie, Minnesota

"This book is a must-read for anyone involved with Muslims and Muslim-background believers in the United States or overseas. The authors speak authentically, honesty, and truthfully. Through their words, you'll come to a deeper understanding of the culture and religious perspectives of Arab Muslims and the heart-level experiences of individuals as their faith journeys intersect with Christ and with our Western secular and Christian cultures."

Kate McCord, author of In the Land of Blue Burqas

"With enthusiasm I recommend this welcome narrative of the life of a friend who has made a journey of faith from following a prophet to embracing a faith different from the one he inherited. Academics, theologians, students, and church laity will all benefit from understanding the inside challenge of what it means to 'transfer your primary citizenship' from your own cultural context to a new commitment that reflects Matthew 6:33: 'Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness' (KJV)."

Ray Tallman, OC International

"From Cairo to Christ is both a compelling first-person narrative of one Egyptian Muslim's journey to Christ and into fruitful Christian ministry among Muslims globally and also a helpful analysis of Islam and Muslims in our twenty-first-century world. Abu Atallah doesn't downplay profoundly disturbing aspects of Islam, nor does he hesitate in critiquing some embarrassing negative Christian attitudes toward Muslims. Atallah's often painful journey helpfully illuminates typical experiences for believers out of Islam as they seek to live their lives in faithfulness to their new Lord in Muslim communities, both in the Muslim world and here in the West. This short book provides invaluable perspective into the experience of those who follow Christ out of Islam as well as penetrating insights into the beliefs and experiences of Muslims in the Arab world and America today. I warmly commend it to those who desire to better understand and befriend both their Muslim neighbor and their Christian friend who was once a Muslim."

Don Little, missiologist, Pioneers, director, The Lilias Trotter Center, author of Effective Discipling in Muslim Communities

"From Cairo to Christ takes the reader through an insightful, informative, and provocative journey exploring the on-the-ground realities of the Muslim faith from the perspective of a Muslim convert to Christianity. The challenges encountered and dealt with by Abu Atallah provide fresh insights into understanding how Christians can better relate to Muslims today, in our context of religious pluralism. This book also serves as a mirror for Western Christians to more carefully critique their own understanding and practices of Christianity."

Craig Van Gelder, emeritus professor of congregational mission, Luther Seminary

"From Cairo to Christ is at once a primer on Arabic culture, a comparison between Christianity and Islam, and a history lesson in the making. He provides a bridge for greater understanding between cultures as he points others to the Prince of Peace. Atallah serves as a most credible teacher, having walked a mile in both sets of shoes."

Von Mitchell, Christian Market, July 2017

"From Cairo to Christ inspires, informs and compels readers for the great privilege of relating Jesus to Muslims—in loving, living proclamation—wherever they are."

Influence Magazine

"This would be an excellent starting volume for anyone wanting to learn more about Christian witness to Muslims and to be encouraged to take part in that great task."

David G. Cashin, Journal of Asian Mission, 19:1 (2018)

"Reading [From Cairo to Christ], you cannot fail but be moved by God's goodness and grace in raising up an evangelist who has ministered marvelously to God’s glory in 56 countries on six continents. Recommended."

Christine Farenhorst, Christian Renewal, March 2, 2018


1. A Kid in Cairo
2. Adolescence in an Arab Family
3. Encountering Christ
4. A Frightened New Christian
5. In the United States
6. Ministry in the United States
7. Arabs and the West
8. In Europe
9. Misunderstandings in Europe
10. Christians in Egypt
11. Israel and the Muslims
12. Marriage and Family in Islam
13. Christian-Muslim Families
14. Egypt Now
15. Muslim Converts
16. Current Ministry
Discussion Questions


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Abu Atallah is the founder and CEO of European Training Centre and a pastor, professor, and missionary with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. He was born and raised in Egypt, and after his conversion was involved with Campus Crusade at Cairo University. In 1979 he came to the United States, where he attended the Urbana missions conference and heard God?s call to minister to his people. He founded the Arab American Friendship Center in Dearborn, Michigan, and was a consultant and trainer for Arab World Ministries in London and across Europe. He has ministered in fifty-six countries on six continents. He has a master of divinity from Calvin Theological Seminary.

Kent A. Van Til

Kent Van Til is lecturer in religion at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. He is the author of Less Than Two Dollars a Day and The Moral Disciple (Eerdmans).