Displaying items by tag: Muslim
Jammu and Kashmir (JK) is in militarised Kashmir, an Indian region dividing India and Pakistan. On 5 August Indian authorities revoked JK’s special status that had allowed them to make their own laws, and anticipating resistance they imposed an unprecedented clampdown - shutting down the internet, media and mobile phones, barring movement and jailing Kashmiri leaders. They argued that JK’s ‘special status’ hindered integration by their Muslim majority population with the rest of Hindu India. The disputed region has had two wars fought over it by India, Pakistan and China. Narendra Modi reached out to people of JK, in the five languages spoken there, trying to instil peace on the troubled streets of a new Kashmir; which has been stripped of its constitution, flag, and hereditary rights. A historical powder keg has been ignited. The US asked Pakistan to refrain from ‘retaliatory aggression’ as airspace corridors were closed and bilateral trade suspended. China’s foreign ministry voiced ‘serious concern’ over India’s contentious move over an area claimed by both countries. See
Jesus has all authority and power to forgive sins through his sacrifice on the cross and his resurrection for those who receive Him by faith. However Muslims reject this mercy and look for forgiveness and an allegiance to Allah by doing a Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. Muhammad said, ‘Whoever performs Hajj for the sake of Allah and does not utter any obscene speech or do any evil deed will go back (free of sin) as his mother bore him.’ All Muslims must perform the Hajj at least once in their lifetime if they are able; it is one of the five pillars of their faith. On 18 August, three million Muslims from all over the world will flock to Mecca to perform sacred acts and follow the steps of Muhammad, for three days. You are invited to join Christians globally to pray for the millions taking this spiritual journey.
Leading the Way ministry has reported that a ‘prince of IS’ has turned from terrorism to Jesus Christ. Mohammed asked ministry worker Peter to meet him, wanting to kill him. Despite the danger, Peter believed God wanted him to go, and boldly spoke the Word of Jesus to the IS leader. After the meeting Mohammed struggled to grasp what he’d heard about who God really is. He met him again, and told him he’d dreamt of a fragrant envelope dripping blood. Peter said God was telling him, ‘Blood had to be shed for the forgiveness of sins. Jesus is sending you a message and you need to give your life to Him.' At that moment Mohammed surrendered his life to Jesus.
Nizar Shaheen, of Light for the Nations (a Christian programme aired in Muslim-dense areas), says, ‘I've seen many, many Arabic-speaking people turning to Christ, accepting Him as Lord and Saviour. It's happening all over the Arab world; in North Africa and the Gulf countries; in Europe, Canada and the United States. Everywhere, people are accepting Jesus.’ Also in the Middle East, Coptic priest Father Zakaria Botros is confronting Islam with an in-your-face style of television and internet evangelism. He reports Muslims turning to Jesus: ‘young and old, educated and not educated, males and females, even those who are fanatical.’ It is not uncommon these days to hear of Muslims encountering God as they slept. Around the world, many who have converted to Christianity say they have done so after dreaming of a person who they believe is Jesus Christ.
A family court judge has ordered that a five-year-old Christian child, who had been placed with strict Muslim foster-parents, should live with her Muslim grandmother. A leaked internal document from Tower Hamlets council said the child was ‘very distressed’ after her foster-parents had taken a necklace with a Christian cross from her and banned her from eating bacon. Judge Khatun Sapnara made this decision at Tower Hamlets’ request. The Children's Commissioner, Anne Longfield, said her office would contact Tower Hamlets with questions regarding placing a Christian girl with two Muslim foster families within six months. Media reporting on the case has been criticised by the Muslim community, who said the family dispute had been seized upon in an effort to demonise Islam.
Miqdaad Versi, of the Muslim Council of Britain, spends his time reading every story in the media concerning Muslims and Islam - looking for inaccuracies. If he finds one, he will put in a complaint or a request for a correction with the news organisation, the press regulator Ipso, or both. Mr Versi has been doing this thoroughly since November, and before that on a more casual basis. He has so far complained more than fifty times, and the results are visible. He was personally behind eight corrections in December and another four so far this month. ‘Nobody else was doing this’, he says. ‘There have been so many inaccurate articles about Muslims overall, and they create this idea within many Muslim communities that the media is out to get them. Nobody is challenging these newspapers and saying, “That's not true”.' Some free speech campaigners are concerned that this kind of work is trying to ‘ring-fence Islam from criticism’. Mr Versi, however, insists his work is about ensuring the facts are right - not silencing critics. He says there are many examples where Muslims can be rightly criticised, and he is not complaining about those. ‘All I'm asking for is responsible reporting.’
2017 is set to be fraught with challenges for the people of the Middle East, Christian and Muslim alike. A brief summary: 1) Iraq will remain precarious, even though the battle to retake Mosul is making progress: Shiite-dominated rulers in Baghdad face conflict with an unwilling Sunni minority. 2) Turkey’s stability is threatened by challenges from IS and from Kurdish militants, who have killed some 1,000 Turkish soldiers in the last two years. 3) There are hopeful signs in Iran, though changes could be slowed by the death of former President Rafsanjani and the expectation of more hostile US policies under Donald Trump. The poor health of supreme leader Ali Khamenei might mean a potential leadership change soon, which could have serious implications for the entire region. 4) The mood in Syria seems to be turning towards a ceasefire and acceptance of Assad staying on as president, at least in the short term. 5) Egypt is expected to see new protests and tensions with continued terrorism, and the economy will remain the number one challenge. The whole region remains in much need of continuing prayer: yet every challenging phase is also a chance for Christians to rise up as salt and light, and to offer reconciliation and restoration where they are desperately needed.