Any converts from non-Christian religions?


I like to read conversions stories, like those in the Surprised by Truth books and so on. But I think I’ve read a grand total of one conversion story of a person who converted from a non-Christian religion to Catholicism. Is there anyone on this board who is contemplating converting to Catholicism or has already converted from a non-Christian religion or sect? I’d be interested in hearing about your experience.


Conversion from a non-Christian religion was more common in Asia than it is here, simply because the countries where I lived, Japan and Indonesia, had larger non-Christian populations. A good book that illustrates a post world war II era conversion in Japan is The Smile of a Ragpicker by Paul Glynn. However, I’m not sure how easy it is to find in this country (my copy does not have an ISBN number, but e-mail if you’d like a mailing address in Australia that is supposed to sell it).

My extremely anecdotal experience, at least in Asia, is that converts from non-Christian religions share many of the same experiences as Protestant converts in the States: family surprise, misunderstanding among friends as to why you are converting, etc.


I live in Singapore, and am seriously thinking of publishing a magazine on Asian converts to Catholicism. D’you think that kind of thing would generate any interest in America?


From watching the Journey Home off and on, I’ve only seen one Asian Buddhist convert to Catholicism. There are probably a lot more, but I don’t know where to find them.


I’m a wannabe, which means I haven’t quite made across the river yet. :smiley:


Daniel Ali is a convert from Islam - he was also on the Journey Home.


[quote=AmandaPS]I’m a wannabe, which means I haven’t quite made across the river yet. :smiley:

Amanda, I’m curious. If you don’t mind my asking, what religion are you now and at what point are you in learning about Catholicism?


I’m a revert but with a twist. At the age of 22 I officially converted to Judaism (primarily to get married although at the time I wouldn’t admit that). I spent 17 years as a Jew before reverting to Catholicism. As much as it still pains me to think that I denied Jesus all those years, I know that I could never be the kind of Catholic I am now if I didn’t have the background in Judaism that I have. I urge everyone to explore our Jewish roots. As Rosalind Moss says, Catholicism is the completion of Judaism. I took a rather circuitous route to get where I am today but I know my faith would not be as strong as it is if I had taken any other path. It was clearly God’s path for me, and I thank him for his forgiveness and compassion every day.


[quote=Audrey]Amanda, I’m curious. If you don’t mind my asking, what religion are you now and at what point are you in learning about Catholicism?

Right now, I still call myself a Buddhist; not the New-Agey yoga, type either. I’m not a convert to Buddhism, but was born and raised on the Theravadan (traditional) teachings. And I’m also Asian, so it’s through ethnicity.

The only thing left, is for me to go through the RCIA process.


For me i would say yes and no. I grew up Wiccan, but while i was investigating Catholicism i got involved in an Evangelical church for less than a year. So you could say that i converted from Wicca or Protestantism i guess. Judging by my signature quote,:rolleyes: you can tell that i consider myself a direct convert from Wicca despite my brief foray into Evangelicalism.
On a similar note, if America is going to see a lot of Catholic converts from non-Christian religions, it is almost certainly going to come from the New Age / Neo-Pagan movement. I live on the west coast and know a lot of Asians and Asian-Americans, but most of them are not active in an Eastern religion like Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. They’re either secular or already part of some Christian religion.

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