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A quote from Anthony Furey of the Edmonton Sun paper indicates the proportion of various perspectives within the Muslim belief community. The high percentages surprised me to some extent, and I wonder what impacts this would have on our missional efforts, as well as on our response to certain demands or requests by the Muslim community within our borders. Any comments? 

"...figuring out the true interpretation of a religion is not only futile but also irrelevant, at least when it comes to public discourse and policy.

What matters is what the majority of adherents think. Thanks to the non-partisan Pew Research Center’s efforts, we now know what Muslims across the world think on a variety of issues. The results (, released earlier this week, show most of the world’s Muslims conflict with western standards.

From 2008 to 2012, Pew conducted face-to-face interviews with 38,000 Muslims from 39 countries in Africa, Asia, Middle East and Europe.

In most countries, the majority of respondents want shariah to be official law. Some figures were alarmingly high — 99% in Afghanistan; 86% in Bangladesh; 84% in Pakistan.

However, in some countries, the majority also felt shariah should only apply to Muslims. That’s cold comfort for those in one of the countries where the majority wants the death penalty for anyone who leaves the faith. While only 1% in Kazakhstan want to see apostates killed, it rises to 88% in Egypt, 83% in Jordan, 75% in Pakistan, etc.

Most respondents are not, however, radicals in supporting terrorism:

“Asked specifically about suicide bombing, clear majorities in most countries say such acts are rarely or never justified as a means of defending Islam from its enemies.”

Although in Egypt, 29% say attacks are “often/sometimes justified.” In the Palestinian territories, that grows to 40%. A high minority."  

The rest of this article can be found at ""  


I just spent some time with CRWM and World Renew missionaries from West Africa. I can tell you that through patience and genuine relationships, Muslims are coming to Christ. I cannot give you statistics or numbers. But for those who have been saved, I am grateful to God.

I agree with Wendy. There is salvation power in the Gospel! I work with Back to God Ministries International and receive encouraging stories of people coming to faith in Christ from our Arabic ministry in the Middle East. Our team reports that many of the younger Muslims are becoming disenchanted with those who practice a fanatic version of Islam. They are open to alternatives.

Although many countries are hostile to the Christian faith, thousands of Muslims in the Middle East have access to the truth of the Christian faith through Back to God Ministries audio programs on radio and Internet. We also have a Facebook page that introduces sayings of Jesus--and Jesus' words draw many into a desire to know more about Him. 

We provide answers to their questions and discipleship through text messaging and Skype conversations—and, with caution, in face to face meetings with trained mentors. With prayer and patience, we are seeing the Holy Spirit transform lives.

For example, a young couple, from an area of the Arabian Peninsula where the Bible is forbidden, first heard the Gospel over the airwaves. They became Christians a few years ago and now have secret fellowship with a small group of other believers. They keep in touch with our Arabic staff through Skype and quietly point their friends and relatives to our Arabic ministry website. As a result, some of their friends or relatives have also committed their lives to Christ! 

There is a similar story on that might encourage those who are praying for Gospel transformation in the Middle East. Keep praying! God is at work! 

Excellent response.  Our mission efforts should include muslims for sure!  God and the angels in heaven rejoice much over the one in 100 who is lost when he is found!  So do we.   And we should pray! 

The larger question is how we deal with our perceptions of muslim culture, the violence, beheading, shariah, etc., when we must as citizens make decisions about how to deal with it.   This is not much different in some ways than how we deal with practicing homosexuals or fornication or abortionists, or adultery by unbelievers, while at the same time witnessing to them and showing Christ's love.  Except that this also of course has more serious ramifications in terms of shariah, polygamy, death sentences for dress code violations, "consequences", terrorism, suicide bombing, etc.  Well, maybe not more serious than abortionists, but you get the idea...   If muslim culture gains more control over more countries, the opportunities to witness for Christ will decrease more and more, don't you think? 

The commentator, Anthony Furley, stated that it was more important to find out what people believed, than what their faith said they were supposed to believe.   I wonder if this would also apply to Christians, and in particular, members of our denomination. 

Thank you John for your discussion opener.

    A couple of observations:

a. The German scholar Nagel Tilman said:

"I deliberately refrain from rashly pointing out parallels or similarities between Islam and Christianity, because this tends to be misleading. For what do we learn from an analogy which is sometimes made-of Christ as the "logos" and the Koran as God's word? Statements of that kind only feign similarities between Islam and Christianity; the naive European reader is led to believe that Islam has a logos theory comparable to that of Christianity. That is utterly wrong!" in his  The History of Islamic Theology From Muhammad to the Present. ( Princeton: Markus Wiener Publishers, 2000), p. xi.

--his bottom line: read Islam on its own terms

b. In his blog of Wednesday, May 29, 2013, Mark Durie  points out that relativism is a huge problem in reading Islam correctly.   Given the CRCNA's frequent posture of trying to please all people all the time, it is not difficult to see that embracing a culture of relativism could blind one to Islam's true nature. For instance how many times have I heard "there is no compulsion in religion" from wooley-headed leaders who fail to realize that this was a Meccan Surah which has been abrogated by "kill the infidels."

c. I am grateful to the advance of the Gospel as outlined below by Wendy and Nancy.

d.  To understand Islam at its root, it must be understood that it has two triads that intertwine and are non-negotiable, Pew Forum notwithstanding. The first triad is the Qur'an/Sunnah--examples drawn from Muslim traditions/Sira--the life of Muhammad.  Like it or not this is the center of the Islamic solar system and it is non-negotiable. Sure many token Muslims orbit at a distance to Pluto from these, but invariably when push comes to shove they will be drawn to the center. That is why democratic countries need very firm laws to prevent creeping shariah. The second triad is composed of iman (faith)/islam (submisison) and ihsan (virtue.).  Again, to fill the pillars of these three, essentially one must say, "I love what Muhammad brought." However living a life of WWMD "What would Muhammad do?" one must be well aware of his legacy from the Sira, or from a book such as "The Life of Muhammad" by Ibn Ishaq--translated by Guillaume. Then you will see why non-Muslim governments might wake up and smell the roses.


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