A few weeks ago I received an email from one of my students. She has been working amongst Muslim women and had just had a phone call from one of her Muslim friends. The woman was weeping uncontrollably, and my student assumed someone in her family had died. After she regained her composure she made the following startling statement, “I have been a Muslim for forty-one years, and in all that time have never questioned Islam. But now, I have decided to leave it.” When my student asked her “why,” she related that she had been watching ISIS videos and the brutality that they justified as the “methods of the Prophet.” She decided to leave Islam.
I have often referred Islamic radicals as “proto-evangelists” for the Christian faith. The first of these was the Ayatollah Khomeini. His brutal regime in Iran, whose atrocities and policies have lead many Iranians to leave Iran, has also led to an exodus of Iranians out of Islam. Estimates are difficult, but the numbers significant. Outside Iran the numbers are firmer but no less astonishing. In Sweden, fully ten percent of the Iranian immigrant population has converted to the Christian faith. That is approximately eight thousand out of a total of eighty thousand in the entire country. Some Iranian believers have called the Ayatollah the greatest missionary because he showed us what Islam is really like.
Read the complete article here:
Read the above article and then consider the refugee situation of the past few years in the light of what the article says.
Not long ago I read a book about the growth of the church in Iran, where the gospel became particularly effective in the lives of former Muslims after their experience of Islam under the Ayatollah Khomeini and later under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Their resulting disillusionment with Islam made them more open to the gospel of Jesus.
The situation in Syria and Iraq that has caused so many to flee their homes would surely lead many to have similar questions about the nature of Islam, and the reality of that outcome seems to be born out in the article above.
And yet, what has been a far too common “Christian” response to the influx of fleeing Muslims?
Sadly it’s be a response of fear, of nationalism and rejection.
Instead of being welcomed, the refugees have mostly been demonised.
As Islamic law, and the groups that espouse it, fails, where will people turn? When I met a group of Iranian Church leaders in Sweden their great fear was that Muslims would turn to secularism, even to atheism. Many have come to the Church but this assumes that the Church is a “safe space” for Muslims. The tragedy is that many Churches are not welcoming for Muslims. They regard them as the enemy.