CAIRO – Changing his popular church to a mosque, a Nigerian pastor has embraced Islam and took Shahadah, attributing his reversion to a divine encounter he had with a strange man in white in his dreams.
“I was preparing for the anniversary when I started having dreams that eventually led to my conversion,” former pastor Adekunle Afolabi was quoted by Naij.com.
“At first in the dreams, I noticed my members were sitting on the floor in the church and some of them were covering their heads. I also saw that people were washing their hands and feet before entering the church just like it is done in Islam.”
The 45 years old pastor is the founder and leader of Apata Adura Cherubim and Seraphim Church, Ekute, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State.
According to an earlier interview with the Sun newspaper, he has been practicing Christianity for 25 years and opened his church five years ago.
Now known as Alfa Abubakar Afolabi, a strange man in white in his dreams showed him certain flaws in Christianity and convinced him that indeed Islam is the only religion that leads to heaven as he was preparing for his church anniversary.
As 150 members abandoned his church, the decision to revert to Islam was met by different reactions from his family and friends.
“They have always known me to be truthful with whatever I’m doing and they respect me for that and also respect my decision, so there hasn’t been any cause for alarm,” he said.
“The only person who at a time opposed it was my wife because she was a Christian when I married her.”
“She said she would quit the marriage and I said it is okay and that I don’t want to die a Christian but would rather die a Muslim. “
“But after a while, she discovered that we haven’t been worshipping any idol, that we have always been worshipping God. She came back and accepted me this way. Also, my children are supporting me and have joined me.”
Turning his church into a mosque, Afolabi says it is attracting many Muslims.
“My church before has now been converted to a mosque and it is being attended by many Muslims now that I cannot even count them,” he said.
“An Imam is currently running the mosque while I am also there as an Alfa, learning more about the religion.”
Nigeria, one of the world’s most religiously committed nations, is divided between a Muslim north and a Christian south.
Muslims and Christians, who constitute 55 and 40% of Nigeria’s 140 million population respectively, have lived in peace for the most part.
But ethnic and religious tensions have bubbled for years, fuelled by decades of resentment between indigenous groups, mostly Christian or animist, who are vying for control of fertile farmlands with migrants and settlers from the Hausa-speaking Muslim north.