Displaying items by tag: Islam
Hungary's prime minister Viktor Orbán has called Christianity the ‘last hope’ for Europe, as the continent struggles to integrate millions of Muslim migrants who have fled their countries of origin. Orbán also accuses some Western European governments of facilitating the ‘decline of Christian culture’, and paving the way for Islam's advance. In his annual state of the nation speech he warned these nations that they will be overwhelmed with Muslim migrants and their culture will drastically change for the worse. He said that if millions of young Muslims move north, large European cities will have a Muslim majority. The prime minister is expected to win a third term when Hungarians go to the polls in April. Pray for an end to the fear of declining Christian culture, and for Muslim refugees to have divine appointments with Christians in European cities and encounter Christ.
In countries where shame is used as a tool to change people’s behaviour, the love of Christ has a powerful effect. That’s what is behind Mohabat TV, a Christian satellite television ministry to Farsi-speaking people. Dr Mike Ansari says, ‘Mohabat is a Farsi word, meaning Agape love. Our audience is the Farsi speakers of Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan. When people talk about love, it really resonates through that culture. It’s a culture of honour, it’s a culture of shame. It’s a culture where love really speaks volumes, so what better name for our ministry than the love of the Father for His children?’ Mohabat TV strives to present the Gospel in a ‘non-threatening, non-political’ way; it partners with eighty ministries who supply programming, distribute Bibles, and help believers connect with each other.
Ian Sleeper, a Christian street preacher, was arrested and held for thirteen hours in a police cell after displaying placards depicting love for Muslims and criticising the ideology of Islam. He was released on bail as the CPS could not decide whether to charge him. Strict conditions were imposed, preventing him from going into Southwark. He was on bail for six weeks before the police finally decided to take no further action. He said, ‘It is reassuring that I have not been charged for seeking to expose the truth about Islam. Truth cannot be taken for granted in our modern world, so I will be back out on the street soon.’
Suicide bombers and gunmen attacked the Iranian parliament and Ayatollah Khomeini's mausoleum in Tehran on 7 June, killing at least 13 people. IS claimed responsibility, and threatened more attacks against Iran’s majority Shi'ite population. Iran's Revolutionary Guards blame their regional rival Saudi Arabia. Sunni Saudi Arabia denied any involvement in the attacks, but the assault further fuels tensions between Riyadh and Tehran as they vie for control of the Gulf and influence in the wider Islamic world. The attack happened one week after the meeting between Donald Trump and the Saudi leaders (who support terrorists). Trump said that he prayed for the attack victims but added, ‘States that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote.’
Mahmoud believed that all Christians lied and killed Muslims, but he embraced Christianity after experiencing the love and compassion of believers firsthand. He was forced to flee Iraq after IS invaded the country; the terrorists tortured him because he refused to support their ‘caliphate’. While travelling by dinghy to Greece his boat sank, plunging him into the sea, but Greek coastal authorities rescued him. Mahmoud was terrified: ’I knew they would kill me because I am a Muslim - this is what I had been told.’ But they pulled him from the water and gave him dry clothes and food. Eventually, Mahmoud was connected with a Christian ministry and they told him about Jesus. ‘For 40 years my people have lied to me’, he said with tears in his eyes. ‘I need to know the truth. I need to know about Jesus.’ He accepted Christ as his Lord and Saviour.
Muslims are our neighbours, and Jesus said, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ (Matt. 22:39) Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting to bring the faithful closer to God and to remind them of the suffering of those less fortunate. Over the last few years Christians have been praying for Muslims to meet Jesus during their search for a closer relationship to God; and we are now hearing encouraging stories about unprecedented numbers of Muslims coming to the Lord during Ramadan. Each year a new illustrated prayer guide is published in a number of languages and locations around the world. Pray and ask God to use you, your prayer group, and your church in this year’s 30 Days Muslim Prayer Focus.
Behind the facade of a ‘tropical paradise’ are tragic realities: the highest divorce rate in the world, rising crime, widespread child abuse, pervasive drug use and over 200 young people joining IS. All citizens are required to be Muslim. There are no churches, and there is no official access to God’s Word. The Gospel of Luke and Acts are currently available in Dhivehi, but are not permitted to enter the country. No mission work or Christian literature has ever been legally allowed within the islands. Widespread traditional beliefs in spirits combined with Islam leave many almost entirely untouched by the Gospel, trapped in fear and without access to Jesus. Pray for miraculous opportunities for Maldivians to hear the Gospel, and that the government's attempts to silence it may instead raise up a Maldivian church.
Historian David Engels predicts that Europe faces the fate of the ancient Roman Republic - a civil war. Some are now saying, ‘Jihadists seem to be leading an assault against freedom and secular democracies.’ Mainstream media are asking if Europe fears Muslims more than the USA does. We can pray against fears occupying the collective imagination of Europeans. A survey of 10,000+ Europeans from ten different countries revealed increasing public opposition to Muslim immigration, with 55% agreeing that all further migration from mainly Muslim countries should be stopped. Islamists take culture and history more seriously than Westerners. In Paris, an Egyptian terrorist attempted to deface artwork in the Louvre because ‘it is a powerful symbol of French culture’. We can pray for every aspect of Godly heritage rooted deep in European culture to be revived not reviled.
Ethnic Persians are born Muslim. It is illegal to run Christian activities in Farsi, the national language. Despite this, Christians from a Muslim background make up the largest group of Christians in Iran. A few years ago International Freedom of Religion or Belief reported, ‘There was cautious optimism when Hassan Rouhani became president that his influence would soften harsh policies toward religious and ethnic minorities. Sadly, his moderate language has not translated into any meaningful improvement.’ Since he is aiming for another term in office, many believe that next month’s elections pose an ultimate vote of confidence. Pray for political changes in Iran that will allow for freedom of religion. A Persian who leaves Islam can be sentenced to death if male, and life imprisonment if female. For many Muslim families, it is a disgrace when a family member converts. Pray for protection and provision for Christians who have been cursed and disowned by their families. See also:
Dr Mark Christian, a former prominent Egyptian Muslim (his great uncle was co-founder of Muslim Brotherhood), is a Christian lecturer who warns people of the impact of Islam on the world today. In a webinar hosted by the American Pastors Network, Christian explained how he began questioning Islam as a 23-year-old imam and later left the religion. He argues that organisations such as the Muslim Students' Association, the North American Islamic Trust, and the Islamic Society of North America are funded heavily by Muslim Brotherhood members in Egypt, Pakistan and other countries, who are attempting to persuade the American public to accept the Islamic agenda and even try to lure Christians into denying Jesus Christ.