If you spend every day watching the news your view of Muslims would be very skewed. In this world of extremists it’s easy to forget that most Muslims are peace-loving people.
However, they still need to hear the Good News of the Gospel as everyone does.
When you desire to share your Christian faith when travelling in the lands of the Bible, this calls for a delicate balance. You will interact with Muslim bus drivers, shopkeepers, tour guides and various other people in countries that are almost entirely Islamic, such as Turkey and Jordan.
On one hand, we always want to show the love of Jesus to everyone, including those we differ with politically and spiritually. On the other hand, showing Christ’s love does not mean that we should willingly succumb to any schemes to sell us exorbitantly priced carpets or phony tours at elevated fares.
That said, the loving witness of Christ-followers in the Middle East could have a strong impact on the many Muslims with whom they interact. Read a bit about Islam before traveling to the Middle East, and remember these points about Muslims:
- Very few choose to become Muslims. They were born into the faith and had no choice. Their families have been Muslim for 1400 years, in some cases. You should never feel negatively about their “lostness.” They were born lost and often do not know a single Christian person.
- To leave Islam would mean to betray family, faith and possibly country (as in Turkey’s case). That’s why most Muslims who come to Jesus do so after years of patient conversations with Jesus. That doesn’t mean that you can’t plant a seed.
- If it comes naturally to you, give praise to Jesus for a given blessing. Muslims praise Allah constantly for good circumstances; giving the praise to Jesus specifically will catch a Muslim’s ear.
- Muslims assume that all tourists from North America are Christians. Of course, we know this isn’t true. Your Christ-like behaviour will show them what a true Christian is like.
- Asking questions of Muslims can be a great way to learn more about Islam and plant a seed of the Gospel.
- Ask how devout they are and what pillars of the faith they practice.
- Ask them what they think of Christians and Christianity. You might get an answer that is loaded with political weight. That can be your chance to inform him/her about what true belief is, that not everyone in North America is a believer and that the government does not claim to be Christian, either. This is hard for a Muslim from an Islamic country to understand, for instance. His government is openly and adamantly Islamic.
In summary, you should not be shy about talking about your faith. Muslims are often very open to talking about their beliefs and do not mind a bit of interaction with Christians. Still, you don’t want to get bogged down in a huge debate that can quickly turn emotional. Choose gentleness and respect.
Be sure that you never imply an attack on Islam, Muhammad or the Koran.
Rather, emphasize the positives of your faith that a Muslim does not have, such as the assurance of salvation (a huge difference between these two faiths), and the heart change possible through the work of the Holy Spirit. The honest Muslim will admit that even the most fervent religious practice does not change his/her heart.
Sharing your testimony of God’s loving and transformative work in your life is always a powerful witness.
See your role as planting a seed in a Muslim’s heart that God can water through his/her interactions with other Christians, dreams (a common way that Muslims come to Jesus) and other contacts.
For more information on the world of Islam and current political developments in it, click here.
We will be visiting Turkey and Greece during our new tour, Break Forth Revelation 2015. Turkey is predominantly a Muslim nation. You will have a wonderful opportunity to interact with and share your faith with many warm and open-hearted Muslims on this trip.
You can receive a free brochure on Break Forth Revelation by clicking here.
Watch Our Short Break Forth Revelation 2015 Intro Video Below: