But it’s not without a price.
Massoud Fouroozandeh was born a Muslim in Iran. In 1986 when the Iran-Iraq War broke out, Fouroozandeh, then 15, was called up for military duty. But instead of serving, he fled Iran on crutches through the Kurdish mountains, and eventually settled in Denmark.
Today, he is the pastor of one of the fastest growing churches in Denmark with a special outreach to Denmark’s Muslim immigrants. He is the author of the book titled “The Forbidden Salvation.”
His journey to Christianity began when his mother, who also became a Christian, gave him a Bible. This angered him and he decided to disprove it, but something different happened.
“I found the God of love,” Fouroozandeh told CBN News.
Fouroozandeh was running his own business in Denmark when he says Jesus appeared to him in a dream and called him to serve Him. He later began the Church of Love.
“Our mission was to tell everyone we knew about Christ,” he explained.
And that has made some Muslims in Denmark very angry. The Danish media has reported about how Pastor Fouroozandeh has been threatened by Muslims, including having one car damaged and another destroyed.
But he said this opposition and persecution is exactly what the church in Denmark has needed.
“Before the church was dead but now it is waking up,” Fouroozandeh said.
Today the Church of Love has congregations in three different cities. The threat of violence is not stopping the gospel from reaching more Danish Muslims.
“We’re building in love and there will be challenges but God is with us,” Fouroozandeh said.
Background article -Jan 14, 2011 (courtesy Speroforum)
The Iranian-born head of the Church of Love, Massoud Fouroozandeh, fled with his family from the Vollsmose area of Odense – Denmark’s third-largest city – to a secret location in a small town, after two of the family’s cars were smashed. Each of them had a Christian cross hanging inside, according to local media reports.
“I was told by young people in Vollsmose that I shouldn’t drive around the area with the cross hanging in the car. Afterwards our car was completely smashed up and burned and the seats slashed. Since then the side-windows of our new car were smashed three times,” he says.
After the vandalism, Massoud Fouroozandeh and his wife didn’t dare let their children play in the playground in Vollsmose.
“They don’t go with a headscarf, and 99% of the other children do that, so they attracted a lot of attention, and it wasn’t safe to send them out to play. Therefore we moved far away from Vollsmose,” he says.
Massoud Fouroozandeh is one of several non-Danish Christians who’ve been subjected to threats and attacks in Denmark. An Albanian member of the Church of Love was recently beaten by his countrymen, because he went around wearing a cross on his neck, and had considered getting baptized. And as Danish daily Kristeligt Dagblad wrote in the past, a Christian Iraqi family received phone calls for two weeks telling them to convert to Islam. Massoud Fouroozandeh says that religious threats have long been received by converts to Christianity.
“I don’t usually flee from problems. So it’s annoying that you need to move. But now it’s not just about me, but also about the children. There was too much pressure. I went around the whole time thinking ‘what can happen next?’,” says Massoud Fouroozandeh.
He continues to be a pastor at the Church of Love, where most of the congregants are Afghans and Iranians. Since the church was established in 1997, he has baptized about 500 people. Most were Muslims who converted to Christianity.
“Our message is love and reconciliation. Not everybody can understand that, but it absolutely shouldn’t change our mission to preach the Christian message,” he says.