apostasy in united states

Apostasy in the US



strict bond (2) demand (2)
faith earn (2) foundation
fast senior (2) participate
cloud heart (2) fight/fought/fought
pray unique go through the motions
trigger affection Ramadan
panic reminder part-time
expect worthy panic attack
doubt debilitate slow down
rate disaster constantly
invite anxiety administrator
glow abandon atonement
extra wrestle confidence
flash orangey believe (2)
gift wave (3) overwhelm
care identify represent
distant inkling worthless
source convince implication
claim resonate resurrection
hurt purpose crucifixion
glad imagine sort of way
accept amazing representative
fearful show up immense






Jazal Katri: “Everything that we did and everything that we believed built on that foundation of knowing who we are as Muslims in America.”

Jazal Katri grew up in a family who demanded strict adherence to the Quran and Islamic faith. For her, it was the only way to earn her parents’ love.

Jazal Katri: “I believed that staying true to Islam was something that my parents and I would bond over, if I did as they requested for me to do like going to the mosque with them and participating in Ramadan fasting, it would bring us closer.”

But none of those things brought Jazal’s family closer together. In fact, her parents fought constantly.

Jazal Katri: “Sometimes I would wake up and I would leave the house in the middle of the night. I could go to bed thinking everything’s fine, and wake up the next morning, and it was disaster.”

As for Jazal, her prayers to Allah offered little comfort.

Jazal Katri: “Allah seemed just really distant from me and didn’t really feel as though I was being listened to; I felt more like I was going through the motions and not really feeling anything in return from God any love or support.

I wanted that peace that people keep talking about that Islam represents, and I didn’t ever feel that.”

When Jazal was a senior in high school, her father ended the marriage, and her mother started a new family.

Jazal Katri: “After I went through all that with my family, I just felt like I wasn’t worthy of any affection in their love, and so I looked for it from my parents, and didn’t get it.

And it was a reminder that ‘hey Jazal; you’re not that great. If you were great, your family wouldn’t have left you behind.

The thought of the future, the thought of tomorrow, even the very next day would just bring me into a panic because I just never knew what was going to happen.”

During college, she started working part-time at a private school. By then, Jazal’s anxiety was triggering debilitating panic attacks.

Jazal Katri: “Imagine you see a car that’s about to hit you that’s not slowing down or trying to stop. It was just like that, but all the time.

I thought I was going to die; my heart rate would just increase; I would start sweating — and just felt darkness, like a dark cloud over my head.”

During those times, it wasn’t Allah that gave Jazal comfort: it was the school’s administrator, Connie — who was a Christian.

Jazal Katri: “Whenever I would have panic attacks at work, she would pray with me. I would feel a lot of peace, and I never felt that way when I finished my Islamic prayers.

I thought, ‘what is Miss Connie doing? What does she have that I don’t have? Whatever it is, I want it’.”

Connie invited her to church; but what she saw and heard there wasn’t what she had expected.

During that service, I learned about atonement, how Jesus had died for our sins. As a Muslim, I didn’t really even understand why Jesus had died.

It was just kind of like, ‘Hum. Maybe this is true.’ It gave me something extra to think about. Parts of the Quran were already wrong about what Christians believed. It wasn’t representing Christianity in its truth.

It just made me question a lot. A lot more.”

Jazal wrestled with her doubts.

A few days later, she had the worst panic attacks she’d ever experienced.

Jazal Katri: “I thought maybe I should try what Miss Connie did; maybe I try praying. So I started off praying like she did; I tried to model her prayer and say some of the words that I remembered.

When I did that, I remember seeing this huge flash of light in front of my face. It was like when close your eyes and you look at the Sun, that orangey glow and feeling an overwhelming huge wave of just peace and love.

I fell immediately asleep and sleep was the last thing on my mind.”

When Jazal woke up the next morning, Jazal opened a Bible she had received as a gift she had received a gift, and began reading it, front to back.

Jazal Katri: “What I found in there was just so much peace, and Isaiah 49 mentions how God is so loving that even if a mother forgets about their child or abandons their child, God will never abandon you and that your name is written on his hand.

And I very much identified with that and knowing that God loved me and cared about me in that way was something unique to me that I had never even had any sort of inkling about. So God really showed up, when I needed Him the most.

Over the next few weeks, Jazal studied and compared sources until she was convinced that Jesus is the Son of God.

Jazal Katri: “I really came to the knowledge that Jesus claimed to be God, and if this is true, what are the implications of that?

The Resurrection isn’t just mentioned in the Bible; the Crucifixion isn’t just mentioned in the Bible: there are historical accounts outside the Bible that really resonated with me, and knowing there is history behind it tells me that there’s truth in that.

And I just said ‘God, I accept that you are who you say you are. I accept that you are Jesus and I accept that you were God and I am sorry for the things that I’ve done that I’ve hurt your heart.

I’m just so glad that you’ve brought me to the knowledge of who are, and I accept you as my God.’

And that was the day. After that never again panic in any sort of way. Never again.”

Today Jazal shares her new faith with confidence.

Jazal Katri: “I want everything that I do and say to represent Him, and that gives me such an amazing purpose in life because I’m God’s representative here; I get to be his hands and feet and show other people what God’s like.

And just like Miss Connie showed me, the love of Jesus through her actions and her prayers with me, I can now do that for other people.”

Jazal also says knowing God cares for her has changed everything.

Jazal Katri: “Instead of me being fearful for tomorrow, I am running into it. I can no longer think that I’m worthless, because if my name is written on God’s hand, as I say it forty-nine mentions that means that he cares immensely about me.

He’s always thinking about me, so I need to always think about Him.


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1. Jazal’s family was conservative and traditional. True or false?

2. Was she a devote Muslim? Did she follow the teachings of Islam?

3. Jazal had a fulfilled, satisfied, meaningful and happy life. Is this right or wrong?
4. In college, did she fully enjoy her studies and work?

5. How did Jazal learn about Jesus and Christianity?

6. Did she have a very profound moment in her life? Was she “reborn” again?

7. How does she feel now?


A. How religious and devout are people in your community? They are very religious, religious, in the middle, both religious and nonreligious, not very religious or not religious at all. Describe them.

B. Has religiosity changed over time? What was it like in the past?

C. Do people convert to other religions? Do you know of anyone who changed their religion?

D. What might happen in the future?

E. Should people do anything?

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