Disillusioned Muslim Youth Turning to Christianity
The recent plight of Yousef Nadarkhani in Iran has been in the Christian news lately as the Iranian government maneuvered to silence this bold Christian. He was first arrested for preaching the gospel but when western world public opinion began to make his persecution known, the charges were switched to rape and prostitution. His fate still hangs in the balance as of this writing.
Iran is one of several Middle Eastern countries under tight Islamic government control. No church building is allowed in some of these areas. Nevertheless, modern technology is providing a way to penetrate their blockage of the gospel. Several satellite channels currently beam Bible programming by TV and the internet.
Results are difficult to get, because converts are often ostracized in the culture and sometimes killed by their own relatives for disgracing their family.
A recent article in Religion Today made the point that the younger generation in Iran is becoming disillusioned with Islam. As they obtain access to the Internet and TV sources of the gospel, they rightly recognize that the God of the Bible is superior to Allah of the Qur'an.
The article indicates that there has been a recent increase in "violent action against members of religious groups that are deemed to be a threat to the regime…As a result of the growing number of people coming to Christ, the Iranian authorities have already initiated a battle against widespread conversion to Christianity. The security authorities of the Islamic Republic actively harass and threaten Christians in a variety of ways." In Mark 13:10, Jesus said that the "gospel must first be published among all nations." If it "must" be, then it will be, and no amount of government boundaries will prevent it. The technology available to this generation makes this the first time in history that this prophesy could be fulfilled.
And technology is not the only means that God is using to reach the precious Muslim people. The founder of one Arabic-language TV ministry stated that he believed that there may be one million believers in the Arab world. He cited many reports of Jesus, Himself, or an angel, personally visiting someone who was searching for the truth.
Counting these believers is especially difficult, since, in many cases, revealing their conversion would bring severe persecution or even death.
Even in the U.S., we have recently read of young people fearing for their lives or actually killed by a parent for converting or even adopting western ways.
Yet, as soul winners, we cannot just look the other way when the mosque comes to town. These are, first of all, precious souls that Jesus died for —and they need to know about it. If we don't tell them, who will?
However, effectively witnessing to a Muslim requires some carefulness. It is easy to offend them since their cultural rules of life are foreign to most of us. On the other hand, they are generally a warm and friendly people on the surface and usually respond well to a genuine interest in them as persons.
Once rapport is established, discussions of Jesus as one of their prophets, can be fruitful, if done with respect. This will naturally lead to a discussion of the Bible so you need to be prepared to prove that it is trustworthy. They have been taught that it has been corrupted. This may be particularly difficult with all the corrupted modern bibles floating around.
Chick Publications has help for soul winners with both background material and tracts. The most recent tract is called Is Allah Like You? A helpful paperback is called Christ, Muhammad and I, by Mohammad Al Ghazoli. These and others are available on our website. Materials on this website can also help in identifying a reliable Bible version.