by Hana Baba producer of KALW’s Crosscurrents
About 20% of American Muslims are converts — people who didn’t grow up with the religion and often don’t have any cultural ties.
In some faiths, there’s a clear path for prospective converts. Catholicism, for example, has an official course of rites, rituals, and classes for those entering the Church. Islam doesn’t have a formal conversion process like that. To become a Muslim, you declare your new belief with conviction in front of a Muslim witness, and that’s it.
For this reason, many converts say they need help and support — but it can be surprisingly hard to find. One place it can be found is the Muslim Community Association in Santa Clara, which has been offering post-conversion support classes for the last seven years.
Twenty-six-year-old Nathalia Costa is in the women’s prayer hall at the mosque. She’s here for the…
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