Posts Tagged ‘Islam


Biblical Response to the Crisis in the Middle East

Biblical Response to the Crisis in the Middle East

What Is a Biblical Response to the Mounting Crisis in the Middle East? // Dalton Thomas from FAI on Vimeo.


From one man He made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him



Responding Biblically to the Refugee Crisis

eI consider this video to be one of the most important things I’ve posted on this blog in recent months. It relates to and encapsulates a lot of the concerns I’ve expressed recently about politics and Christian political attitudes; especially regarding the refuge crisis caused by events in the middle east.
Compare the content of this video with today’s all too common rhetoric about refugees.

Responding to the Mounting Refugee Crisis (BONUS FEATURES) from FAI on Vimeo.

From one man He made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him


Underground Iranian Church

I came across this video after following links recommended by Jeanne T given in the comments section of a recent thread.


At the beginning of February I finished reading a book about the growth of Christianity in Iran. Too Many to Jail, by Mark Bradley. I thought I’d written a “review” of it here and wanted to link to the review after the above video. However, I couldn’t find it and suspect my memory was of an email I sent to a friend at the time.


The book tells of growth in the underground church in Iran, and suggests that Iran’s history and culture has prepared the country for the gospel.

In recent decades, the Islamic government of Ayatollah Khomeini , followed later by the Khomeini inspired Mahmoud Ahmadinejad presidency, caused a lot of disillusionment among Iranian Muslims who couldn’t reconcile the words and actions of “Allah’s representatives” with their own idea of what God was like.

Bradley also writes of other aspects of Iranian society that helped make Iranians look favourably upon Jesus and how some had been primed to respond to the gospel through dreams, visions and miracles before being led to someone who could share the truth with them.


After around 100 years of mission work leading up to Khomeini coming to power, traditional churches in Iran could only count around 500 believers – now motivated by home-grown house churches, the number of believers is thought to be in the 100s of thousands.




Religion and Politics This Year and Next.

What role will religion play in global politics next year?


Food For Thought About Changing Borders

Over the past few months I’ve seen a few Christians expressing negative opinions about the growing number of Moslem refugees flooding into the west. Some of those comments seem to have been inspired by fear of the changes that such an “invasion” would bring about. I felt at times there was also a degree of national pride and wanting to protect a certain national identity and should I say it? Protect the comfortable, comparatively affluent lifestyle the west has grown to enjoy.

But today I came across an interview and an article that hint of other possibilities that indicate a possible twist on a well-known saying: “If the gospel won’t come to Mohammed, then Mohammed must go to the gospel.”

While there may be reason for caution in accepting accounts of mass conversions from Islam to Christianity (and some of the content at the above links expresses more than a degree of suspicion), do we need to doubt the reality that at least some of them are genuine? That God IS working in a situation where, for a time, borders have been flexible?

Instead of seeing threat should we be seeing opportunity?

From one man He made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him,


On IS’ Frontline. (interview on ABC Radio)

A combination of news story and wonderful testimony on this short audio interview.

Announce that you’re bound for Syria or Iraq these days and you’ll pique the interest of Australia’s intelligence community.

If you’re a Christian mission worker heading into a conflict that’s driven three quarters of Christians out of Iraq, you’ll certainly have the prayers of your friends. But they’ll also have a simple question. Why?

For pastor Steve Chong and his wife, Naomi, it was to bear witness to the victims of the Islamic State group. The Iraqi army is trying to drive ISIL out of Falluja, where about 50,000 people are besieged and facing starvation.’-frontline/7467264


A Situation Driven by Opposite Extremes.

Alongside the US, Australia reportedly has the second largest military participation in anti-ISIS actions in Iraq and Syria.

The threat of attack here in Australia is very real.
We’ve already had the Lindt café siege in Sydney and only a few weeks ago a police employee was murdered outside a police station in Parramatta by a Moslem boy who had been armed and encouraged by extremist associates.

Also a significant and imminent attack against an Anzac Day commemoration was discovered and averted only days before it was to happen, and other planned attacks have been discovered and stopped over the past few years. Clearly nothing as significant as what happened in Paris, or what happened in London a decade ago, but it’s possibly only a matter of time.

Many young men have flown to Syria from Australia to fight with ISIS – some of them wasting their lives as suicide bombers.
Only this week an Australian Moslem woman was convicted in court of giving support to ISIS. A while ago she had been stopped at the airport, trying to leave with her kids to join her husband in Syria, taking significant money and supplies with her. Her husband was later killed in an air raid, not long after taking a second “wife” – the 13 year old daughter of another Australian terrorist.

Seeing the continual news reports of the Paris attacks made me wonder how I’d react if I found myself caught up in a similar situation.
Jeff Weddle recently said on his blog, that he personally wouldn’t kill a member of ISIS. *
Not long ago I would have agreed with him, but “right or wrong”, I think I’d be very willing to kill someone who was in the process of indiscriminately murdering others in a terrorist act, to put a stop to what they were doing. And “rightly or wrongly”, I think my conscience would remain clear afterwards.

Reading and listening to some of the media reports about the terrorist situation, it seems like the debate over the relevant issues has been hijacked by extremists of opposing opinions. Terrorists and their supporters blame others – saying they’ve been driven to their actions because of persecution, alienation, and hostile acts against Moslems carried out by western society.

But it’s not only those “extremists” that are pushing that argument, some Moslem leaders also allude to the west’s culpability, saying that terrorism is a response to racism and “Islamophobia”. Such a claim was recently made by the Grand Mufti of Australia, mixed with his expression of regret over the deaths in Paris.

I have no doubt that many Moslem families want to live their lives in peace in the west but their situation is not made easy when the words of those in religious authority are often so ambiguous.

On the other extreme, in Australia, we have both neo-fascists using violent protests to express their anti-Moslem agenda, and elements of the press also pushing extreme views likely to create the kind of alienation that militants use to excuse the actions of murderers.
Along with newspapers and TV stations giving a platform to people like Andrew Bolt, we have others regularly giving Pauline Hansen a soapbox to vent her ill-informed, extreme opinions. Apparently she was trotted out on TV to do just that immediately after the attacks in Paris.

Even beyond those examples, the media here is not very helpful in promoting a reasoned view. Across the board there has been a latching onto the possibility that one of the Paris killers had entered Europe among the flood of refugees leaving Syria. The media are questioning Australia’s planned acceptance of 12,000 Syrian refugees over the next year; ignoring the fact that all of those accepted will have to go through a strict and comprehensive vetting process, unlike those flooding across borders in Europe. Also many of those refugees will be Christians and other minority groups trying to escape persecution in their homeland.

An example of how seriously the threat of terrorism is being taken in Australia is the recent announcement that law enforcement officers are being trained shoot first and forget the questions when confronted with a likely terrorist situation. The policy until now had been one of negotiation, attempting to talk a person round – which is one reason the Lindt siege went on as long as it did. There is now recognition that reason is not a part of the mindset of those committing these acts.

Situations like that in Paris and the probability of similar attacks elsewhere, ought to make us assess our own situations and our association with the world around us. Despite events like the Paris attacks our lives are still far more peaceful and secure than the majority of the world.
In the west it is very easy to become complacent and comfortable and forget that the lifestyles available to us are far different from those possible for the majority of the world’s population. That difference will be shown by how quickly the Paris attacks become old news and are once again replaced by the exploits of the Kardashians.

Those living under ISIS oppression in Syria and Iraq don’t have the “luxury” of such distractions from horrors inflicted by murderous thugs.


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