Muslims converts face ostracism in France

Paris, France - Muslims are converting to Christianity in their thousands in France but face exclusion from their families and even death threats.

Most Muslims hide their conversion and Protestant ministers do their utmost to protect new converts. It is estimated that every year in the world some six million Muslims convert to Christianity.

The Muezzin call to prayer. But here in France it is no longer reaching all Muslim ears.

Around 15,000 Muslims each year are converting to Christianity - around 10,000 to Catholicism and 5,000 to Protestantism.

It is often a difficult and painful choice - one that can leave them excluded from their Muslim families and friends.

Pastor Schluster knows what a real taboo conversion is in the Arab world. His job is to support converts by meeting them to reassure them and help them face the isolation from their families.

Pastor Antoine Schluster, official representative of Protestant Federation for New Convert Immigrants, said "True, a conversion is not easy for the Muslims whether they are practising or not. Simply because Islam influences their daily life. And therefore they immediately have a sense of betrayal."

Comedian Siad Oujibou used to pray five times a day but found his questions about death and his desire for a God closer to him than Allah moved him to convert. He is now a Christian pastor.

But he has faced many reprisals and humiliations from his family and was even under a sentence of death.

Said Oujibou, Protestant Pastor, comedian and convert, said "We are under this law if we change our faith. In certain countries would be condemned to death because we have converted. But I haven't changed my religion. I don't believe in religion, I believe in God. And God and religion are two very different things."