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Activist and Former Pastor Shaun King Converts to Islam

Activist and Former Pastor Shaun King Converts to Islam

Shaun King, a prominent activist and former Christian pastor, announced he converted to Islam after witnessing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

“I don’t know that I would be here today without the past six months of suffering and pain and trauma that we’ve seen in Gaza,” King said. “It has touched me in the most profound ways to see people right now in the most dangerous, traumatic place on the planet still be able to sometimes look at nothing but rubble and the remains of their family, and still see meaning and purpose in life.”

In a video shared to Facebook, King and his wife Rai recite the shahadah, the Muslim profession of faith, under the guidance of Palestinian-American imam Omar Suleiman at a mosque in Dallas, Texas. King explained that his decision to convert to Islam stemmed not only from what he’s witnessed in Gaza, but also from his admiration for Malcolm X’s legacy and his deep connections with Muslim friends.

King worked as a pastor at Total Grace Christian Church in DeKalb County, Georgia, before launching Courageous Church in Atlanta in 2008. During his four years as pastor, he made use of social media to bring in new members, earning him the nickname “The Facebook Pastor.” King also began to use social media to raise awareness for social justice issues. In 2012, King resigned from Courageous Church, citing “personal stress and disillusionment.”

He continued to grow his social media platforms by advocating for victims of police brutality, raising funds for a variety of charities and nonprofits, and working closely with the Black Lives Matter movement. He has worked as a regular contributor to media outlets like The Daily Kos, The New York Daily News and The Young Turks, writing extensively about civil and human rights, race relations, police brutality, mass incarceration and law enforcement misconduct.

King has been particularly vocal about the Israel-Hamas conflict ever since the October 7 attack, garnering online support for Palestinian victims and their families. In December, King claimed that his Instagram account with over six million followers was banned in response to his support for Palestine online.

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