List of converts to Catholicism from Islam

The following is a list of notable individuals who converted to Catholicism from Islam (including to Eastern Catholic Churches).




Josephine Bakhita (ca. 1869–1947), Sudanese-Italian Canossian religious sister and Catholic saint.
  • Josephine Bakhita (ca. 1869–1947), Sudanese-Italian Canossian religious sister and Roman Catholic saint from Darfur, Sudan. She was forcibly converted to Islam. On 9 January 1890 Bakhita was baptised with the names of Josephine Margaret and Fortunata.
  • Bayano, also known as Ballano or Vaino, was an African enslaved by Spaniards who led the biggest slave revolts of 16th century in Panama
  • Mohammed Christophe Bilek, Algerian former Muslim who lives in France since 1961; baptized Roman Catholic in 1970; in the 1990s, he founded Our Lady of Kabyle, a French website devoted to evangelisation among Muslims
  • Francis Bok – Sudanese-American activist, convert to Islam from Christianity; but later returned to his Christian faith
  • Jean-Bédel Bokassa (1921–1996), dictator of the Central African Republic and its successor state, the Central African Empire in what he became and declared Emperor (Bokassa was born Catholic Christian, converted himself to Sunni Islam for a year and a half, and came back to Catholic Christianity).


Constantine the African was a physician who converted to Christian-Catholicism from Sunni Islam.


  • Justinus Darmojuwono (1914–1994), first Indonesian Cardinal of the Catholic Church; converted to Catholicism in 1932, served as Archbishop of Semarang from 1963 to 1981, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1967
  • Bob Denard, French soldier and mercenary. Born a Roman Catholic, Denard converted first to Judaism, then to Islam, and finally back to Catholicism again[1]


  • Estevanico (c. 1500–1539), Berber originally from Morocco and one of the early explorers of the Southwestern United States


Rima Fakih (born 1985), Lebanese-American beauty pageant.
  • Joseph Fadelle (born Mohammed al-Sayyid al-Moussawi in 1964), Roman Catholic convert from Islam and writer born in 1964 in Iraq to a Shiite family
  • Rima Fakih (born 1985), Lebanese-American model, actress, professional wrestler and beauty pageant titleholder, Miss USA 2010, converted to the Maronite Church from Shia Islam upon marriage to her Maronite husband


  • George XI of Kartli, Georgian monarch who ruled Eastern Georgia from 1676 to 1688 and again from 1703 to 1709; an Eastern Orthodox Christian, he converted to Islam prior to his appointment as governor of Qandahar; later converted to Roman Catholicism
  • San Geronimo, a young Arab who had embraced Catholic Christianity, and had been baptized with the name of Geronimo
  • Fathia Ghali (1930–1976), Princess of Egypt and youngest daughter of Fuad I of Egypt and Nazli Sabri


  • Maria Hertogh, Dutch woman child who had been raised by Muslims, more later returned to her Catholic biological parents



Sabatina James (born 1982), Pakistani-Austrian author.
  • Sabatina James (born 1982), born in Dhedar, Pakistani-Austrian book author; started a new life in Vienna, changing her name and converting to Catholicism; baptized in 2006[3]
  • Lina Joy, Malay convert from Islam to Christianity; born Azlina Jailani in 1964 in Malaysia to Muslim parents of Javanese descent; converted at age 26; in 1998, she was baptized, and applied to have her conversion legally recognized by the Malaysian courts
  • Don Juan of Persia (1560–1604), late 16th- and early 17th-century figure in Iran and Spain; also known as Faisal Nazary; was a native of Iran, who later moved westward; settled in Spain where he became a Roman Catholic






Karim Ouchikh, French lawyer and politician of Algerian (Kabylie) origin
  • Fata Omanović – Bosniak historical figure from Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Karim Ouchikh – French lawyer and politician of Algerian (Kabylie) origin
  • Malika Oufkir (born 1953), Berber-Moroccan writer and daughter of General Mohamed Oufkir; she and her siblings are converts from Islam to Catholicism; and she writes in her book, Stolen Lives, "we had rejected Islam, which had brought us nothing good, and opted for Catholicism instead"



  • Abdul RahmanAfghan convert to Catholic Christianity who escaped the death penalty because of foreign pressure
  • Dewi Rezer – Indonesian model of French descent


Queen Nazli Sabri of Egypt, who converted to Christian-Catholicism from Sunni Islam




  • Francis Verney – English adventurer, soldier of fortune, and pirate. Converted to Catholicism shortly before his death


  • Muley Xeque (Arabic: مولاي الشيخ Mawlay al-Shaykh (1566–1621), Moroccan prince, born in Marrakech in 1566; exiled in Spain, he converted to Roman Catholicism in Madrid and was known as Philip of Africa or Philip of Austria


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ ["Robert Young Pelton's The World's Most Dangerous Places: 5th Edition", Robert Young Pelton, Collins Reference, 2003, p.270: "Denard has seven wives and has at various times converted to Judaism (in Morocco) and Islam (in the Comoros) and then back to Catholicism."]
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Sigi Wimala Dinikahi Sutradara Film di Gereja". detikhot.
  5. ^ "Nikah Diam-Diam, Sigi Wimala Digosipkan Hamil".

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