I was born in Turkey, and was raised as a Muslim. Islam was my belief, culture and identity. I never had a doubt about Islam. I believed in the Koran and the last prophet with all my heart.
I wanted to be a Muslim, not because I was born in a Muslim family but because Islam is the truth. Therefore, I decided to learn about other religions. I was wondering why other people do not believe in Islam. I looked for people who believe in different religions.
I read the Koran, and I was stunned when I read that Christians will go to Hell directly because they make Jesus equal to God! (See, e.g., They surely disbelieve who say: Lo! Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary. The Messiah (himself) said: O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. Lo! whoso ascribeth partners unto Allah, for him Allah hath forbidden Paradise. His abode is the Fire. For evil-doers there will be no helpers [Qur'an, The Table (5):72, Pickthall's translation]). I could not understand that. Isn't it God's religion? Didn't God send Jesus? Why did God send Jesus who seems like a useless prophet who could not teach?
Jesus could not complete his mission as a prophet, people misunderstood him by calling him God, and at the end God had to save him from crucifixion. So why did God send Jesus?
I felt sorry about my Christian friends. I thought I should learn about Christianity so that I could help my Christian friends.
I bought a New Testament, and started reading. My real purpose was to find the mistakes. I did not start from the beginning. I began reading some chapters in the letters. As I was reading, I really liked the idea that when you marry your body belongs to your spouse, and his/her body belongs to you. I saw that the New Testament gives great importance to the women (It is not making them second class people). And I realized that I might not find mistakes but become very interested in Christianity. Therefore, I stopped reading that book.
One day my friend told me that he had a Christian friend, who talks about Jesus. I asked his phone number and called him. He invited me to a Christian meeting at the church. When I went there I saw that there were Christian Turks at that meeting. I could not believe that because how could a Turk become a Christian in a country in which they could easily learn about Islam? I thought that these Christian Turks were socially weak and could not exist themselves, therefore they were involved in such an activity.
However, I enjoyed going to these meetings because I could ask questions and discuss about religions. The second week I also invited my best friend to this meeting.
One day, this Christian friend invited me and my best friend to his house to watch a movie called "Jesus". During the movie I expected that Jesus would say "A prophet will come after me and you shall believe in him". Surprisingly he did not say that.
I realized that the Christianity I discovered was different from the one I thought that I knew. This time, I started reading the New Testament again. When I read the New Testament, I realized that I have to believe either Jesus or Mohammed. Jesus said, He is the only way. But Mohammed said he is the last prophet.
Then I asked one of my friends if he could show me predictions about Jesus in the Old Testament. He gave me a list of verses, and I read those verses in the Old Testament. Isaiah 53, Psalm 22, Psalm 2 and many others. These verses were about a coming Messiah, Jesus, and His crucifixion.
At this point I had clearly seen that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. However I was afraid of making an eternal mistake. And I found a way ....
People believe in different religions and all these religions can not be true. Intelligence is not enough to find God. However, I thought if I pray to God and give this responsibility to God then I should not worry about it. Because I believe that people can make mistakes but God does not. My prayer was similar to this:
God, I want to know you, I want to serve you, I am not seeking the pleasure of paradise, or some religious respect among others, but I only want to know you. I do not want to make a mistake. Please show yourself so that I may know that you are God.
After this prayer, in those weeks, I had a different experience in my life. When I opened the Bible the answer of my questions were right in front of my eyes. I asked for several signs from God to show me that I should follow Jesus. And he always showed those signs.
In 1994, I decided to follow Jesus. Since then, God always increased my faith in Him.
Do you really want to know God? Open your heart for the truth, pray and watch!
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