Muslims are coming to Christ in amazing and mysterious ways. Men and women have met Christ in a dream or vision. Many others read the Qur’an in their own language for the first time (they memorize the Qur’an in Arabic) and realized they were lost. When they turned to the New Testament and learned more about Jesus they decided to give their lives to Christ.
In spite of growing persecution against Christians and major challenges converts face, there is a growing movement of Muslims turning to Christ. Missionary David Garrison stated, “We are living in the midst of the greatest turning of Muslims to Christ in history.”
Garrison spent two and a half years travelling, conducting research and interviewing over 1,000 Muslim converts. In his book, A Wind in the House of Islam, he defined a movement of believers as “a group of more than 1,000 baptised believers or 100 new churches within a Muslim community. In total he found 69 movements that had started in the first 12 years of the 21st century, in comparison with virtually no voluntary movements of converts to Christianity in the first 12 centuries of Islam,” wrote Christianity Today.
These movements are occurring across the world even while Muslims face death and violent persecution if their faith is discovered. Many converts worship in underground small groups. This makes it difficult to determine the exact number of new believers, but Garrison estimates between 2 and 7 million.
When Garrison asked some leaders why they stayed in their community even with a threat of danger, one woman replied, “When God wanted to reach men, he became a man. If God had wanted to reach hyenas, he would have become a hyena. If we want to reach our own people, we’ve got to stay in our community to reach them.”
Garrison said one reason why this movement is prevalent now is more available Bible translations and multimedia evangelism. He added, “God has brought several elements together uniquely in our time. Some of them are old elements – Muslim violence is not new, this is one of the least violent centuries in Muslim history – but what’s different is today when Muslims experience this violence, they can see an alternative… they can switch on their Internet, they can turn on their television and hear an evangelist speaking Farsi or Kazakh or Uzbek.”
This is a call to love and pray for Muslims across the world and in our own neighborhoods. Words from many do harm and can create fear, but we were called to love, serve and be brave.
We wear Christ’s love when we view people as made by God and potential believers in Christ. If we’re quick to give up on people, then we could miss out on a beautiful movement. Let’s be quick to start a conversation and slow to cast judgement. Let’s be ready to extend a hand and hesitant to keep others at arm’s length. Let’s be brave and be love.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” (1John 4:7)