Since 2012, Best Current News has produced a prayer series for Christians that corresponds to the Islamic month of Ramadan. We are certainly not the first or largest Christian group that produces a prayer guide for Ramadan, however our approach is unique. In addition to encouraging our readers to pray for Muslims, we often ask that our readers pray for their fellow Christians during this time. This year we are beginning by asking you to pray for your Christian brothers and sisters in your families, churches, neighborhoods and communities.
Because Islam is called one of the three “Abrahamic faiths” along with Judaism and Christianity, many Christians do not realize that the Abraham of the Bible is radically different from the Abraham in the Muslim faith and that Islam is radically different than Christianity. Sadly few in the western Christian church realize the differences between the teachings of Islam and Christianity, and surveys of Christians unveil this fact.
A report by the Pew Research Center revealed that 65% of Christians believe that many religions can lead to eternal life – breaking down the report further, 77% of Catholics, 82% of Mainline Protestants, and 47% of Evangelicals believe that at least one other religion (not denomination) can lead to eternal life. Interestingly, 56% of Muslims believe many religions can lead to eternal life.
Depending on which church you attend, there is a good chance that the majority of those sitting around you no longer believe Jesus’ words in John 14:6, “…I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Many of these Christians speak of “bridge building” as a way to find “common ground” between Islam and Christianity. However there is a problem when Christians begin to cross the bridge they have constructed. No one can cross a bridge without taking a step toward the middle and ultimately those steps lead Christians away from the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
So we ask as we begin this Ramadan season that you pray for your fellow Christians. Pray they may have an understanding of and most importantly an encounter with “THE TRUTH,” Jesus Christ the Son of God, and that as the eyes of the Church are open to Truth they will be bold and uncompromising in their witness to our Muslim neighbors.
In an attempt to debunk the statement, “Islam teaches Muslims to kill Christians and Jews,” a popular Christian website states, “There is not a single command in the Qur’an for Muslims to go out and kill Christians or Jews.”
Unless the author of the article on the Christian website believes you can have a war without any casualties, this statement is misleading because it ignores passages in the Qur’an such as sura 9:29 which says, “Make war on those who have received the Scriptures [Jews and Christians] but do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day. They do not forbid what Allah and His Messenger have forbidden. The Christians and Jews do not follow the religion of truth until they submit and pay the poll tax [jizya] and they are humiliated.”
The Reliance of the Traveller, a classic manual of Islamic Sacred Law, is a foundational theological manual. Al-Azhar University, known as Sunni Islam’s most prestigious university, certifies that the Reliance of the Traveller “conforms to the practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni Community” (Reliance, p. xx).
The manual explains sura 9:29: “The Caliph makes war upon the Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians, provided he has first invited them to enter Islam in faith and practice, and if they will not, then invited them to enter the social order of Islam by paying the non-Muslim poll tax Jizya…– while remaining in their ancestral religions (and the war continues) until they become Muslim or else pay the non-Muslim poll tax in accordance with the word of Allah Most High” (Reliance o9.8, p. 602).
As ISIS captured Christian areas in Iraq and Syria, residents were forced to “convert or die.” In a few areas, Christians were given the opportunity to pay the poll tax, however ISIS leaders increased the amount of the tax to an amount that made it impossible to pay so many Christians were forced to flee their homes. In October 2015, Assyrian Christian business owners living in Sweden found the “convert or die” message on the walls of their businesses. The graffiti also included the message: “The Caliphate is here,” along with the ISIS logo. It is reported that the Swedish city of Gothenburg where the graffiti was found has had at least 150 people leave the city to join ISIS.
Recent history demonstrates widespread persecution against Christians. TheReligionofPeace.com has a list of targeted acts of terrorism on Christians by Muslims since September 11, 2001. In the last five years (since January 1, 2011) there have been 7,420 Christians killed and another 7,754 injured in jihadi attacks. This list is of those that have been identified specifically as Christians and according to the website, it is not a complete account of Islamic terror attacks on Christians since much of the violence against Christians goes unreported, and often the victims of Islamic terror are not identified as Christians.
Overall during the same five-year time period there have been 14,203 Islamic terror attacks in which 107,857 people have been killed and 132,433 injured.
Christians should be aware of the teachings of Islam – not to invoke fear, but to understand why Islamists feel compelled to conquer other religions. Love for Muslims comes from God’s heart to Christians. To misrepresent the teachings of Islam denies truth.
The word of God tells us to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Pray that Christians will be informed regarding their own faith and be able to speak the truth about Islam to receptive hearts.
Recently 25 schools in Birmingham, Britain became the focus of multiple investigations when reports of a plot by hardline Islamists to takeover state supported schools came to light. Birmingham, the second largest city in Britain with over one million residents has a Muslim population of approximately 22%. As news of the plot spread, investigators are also looking into new allegations of similar activities in other British cities including Bradford and Manchester.
The concerns stemmed when an undated and anonymous letter detailing a plot called “Operation Trojan Horse” surfaced last year. The letter revealed a plan by a group of organized Muslim teachers, school governors, and others to remove secular head teachers and staff and replace them with individuals who will run the schools according to Islamic principles. The letter claimed responsibility for changing the leadership in four schools, stating, “we have an obligation to our children to fulfill our roles and ensure these schools are run on Islamic principles.”
The letter was sent to the Birmingham City Council in November of 2013, but did not become public until March 2014 when it was leaked to a London-based newspaper. Since the letter has been made public, British authorities have received over 200 complaints from parents, teachers and school leaders about the imposition of strict Islamic practices in the publically funded schools.
An investigation by the Department of Education revealed that one of the schools under investigation, Park View, did practice forced discriminatory gender segregation in many classes with “boys sitting towards the front of the class and girls at the back or around the sides.” The school invited an extremist Islamic speaker, Sheikh Shady al-Suleiman to address an assembly of students. Al-Suleiman “is known to extol…the stoning of homosexuals, anti-Semitic views [and is] sympathetic to al-Qaeda.” The school is also accused of misusing taxpayers’ money to purchase loudspeakers for the playground to call students to Islamic prayers.
The curriculum in some schools was changed to adhere to Islamic values, and in at least one British school Arabic was compulsory for all students. After a non-Muslim head teacher was driven out by “a concerted campaign to remove her and Islamize her school,” Oldknow, holds Muslim prayers every Friday and has organized trips to Mecca at taxpayer expense. Considered un-Islamic, the school’s traditional Christmas tree and pantomime were cancelled in 2013. In addition, a teacher at the school led students in a chant mocking Christians who celebrate the holiday.
Britain is not the only European nation struggling with an attempt by Islamists to take over their publicly funded schools. According to German media reports, fundamental Islamic groups have infiltrated at least 25 schools in Hamburg, Germany. A leaked report to the German newspaper, Bild describes Muslim fundamentalists are “waging a religious war” against non-Muslim teachers and students. Schools are being pressured to set up Muslim prayer rooms, and one school reports that Muslim parents are being pressured by the more fundamentalist Muslims to make sure their daughters are dressing according to Islamic standards. The schools are also reporting students shouting Islamist slogans on school playgrounds and cases of religiously motivated violence.
Bruce Bawer, author of While Europe Slept, wrote, “The most important single element of stealth Islamization is the effort to convert Western schools from centers of secular education into hubs of Islamic indoctrination.” Because many Westerners naively embrace multiculturalism and do not understand the all-encompassing nature of Islam, our schools and ultimately our children are easy targets for the Islamist agenda.
Pray that the truth will continue to be revealed regarding the agenda of fundamental Islam in western nations.