The following article was written by a great friend working in the Muslim world. He understands first hand what the ministry there means. He has lived it and is leading a team there at this moment. Read and enjoy. Feel free to comment below.
A tool for understanding the complexities of Muslim missions
Many people have a hard time understanding the difference between Afghanistan and Turkey or Saudi Arabia and Morocco. “They’re all Muslim countries, aren’t they?” is the general American understanding. Well, yes, they are. But they are all very different in their method and severity of implementation.
Many young missionary candidates, like myself, are passionate about church planting, discipleship, and leadership training. As a result, they are looking for a place they can exercise these passions. Knowing the laws against these things in some Muslim countries, they never consider going to any Muslim or Arab country. Having thus decided, they ignore more than 20% of the world’s population (including half of the world’s unreached people groups).
Some other young missionary candidates, like myself, are passionate about reaching Muslims. So they change their missions strategies to fit a “Muslim” or “Closed” country mentality. They change their goals from being church planting to “blessing” the country with business or with their influence. Instead of tailoring a strategy to a country or region they would paint it all with the same brush and thus miss out on great opportunities for Christ’s glory.
Possibly a better understanding of what freedoms exist in each country will open up minds and hearts to reaching Muslim peoples. I have observed that there are basically four types of Muslim countries in terms of the religious freedom they grant their people. You could call this the “Freedom Scale” for quick reference. You can fit every majority Muslim into one of these six categories however each country has it’s own peculiarities. Muslim countries are also in a constant flux as leadership and attitude in the country changes. A country may move up or down a level in a day. Look at the Islamic revolution in Iran or the secularization of Turkey under AtaTurk for opposing examples.
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