MANY MUSLIMS ARE TURNING TO CHRIST
A revival is taking place as Muslims turn to Christ
ISIS has targeted more Muslim-populated areas in Syria. The attacks have left at least 140 dead in Damascus and Homs. The attacks were the deadliest of Syria’s 5-year war. In Damascus, the explosions took place near one of the holiest Shia Muslim shrines. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Dyann Romeijn with Vision Beyond Borders (VBB) said “As ISIS attacks the Christians, they also attack other Muslims. Certain Muslim groups that ISIS doesn’t perceive as radical enough are being persecuted.” The latest attacks took place during ceasefire talks. This is the second time attacks have happened in the last few weeks during the process of ceasefire discussions. The first time, the talks were delayed. But now, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said a “provisional agreement” has been reached with Russia.
There is both joy for the agreement and grief for a devastating loss in the war-torn nation. Millions of minorities and Syrians have fled from the terror of ISIS, leaving everything behind, including family members. In Lebanon alone, nearly one in every five people is a refugee. Romeijn explains this crisis is different from most others. “One of the things that’s overwhelming that we are seeing in this crisis more than some of the others is that the majority of these families were actually middle class families before ISIS came in.” The people had secure homes and jobs, but the persecution of ISIS drove them away and cost them everything. A VBB worker relayed the story of one man who’d saved up $50,000 for retirement. But, ISIS took it all away and left him with nothing.
Yet despite the grief, Romeijn says God is moving. Because less radical Muslims are being persecuted and fleeing, they are more open to seeing the love of God. Their eyes are being opened to see the truth about Islam and there’s a turning to the Gospel in great numbers. A revival is taking place as Muslims turn to Christ, and VBB wants to seize the moment that God has given.
VBB has printed 20,000 Arabic New Testament Bibles and is giving them to refugees. The Bibles have study notes in order to make it easier for Muslims to understand. Romeijn explains a New Testament is currently more beneficial to the people than an entire Bible because they will likely start at the very beginning of the book. A New Testament will immediately tell the Gospel story, whereas an entire Bible will contain rules Muslims might get caught up in.
But VBB knows they have more to do. “If you just tell Muslim refugees that Jesus loves them and hand them a Bible when they’re starving, they can’t even comprehend. But, we need to meet their physical needs as well.”
VBB is meeting physical needs by providing food, clothing, hygiene kits, and more. When they see genuine interest and care, Muslims want to hear about the Gospel. They’re accepting the Bibles graciously, and Romeijn says more than 1,000 have already been handed out by VBB.
Refugees need your prayers. After all, only God can bring peace. “There are over 6 million that have fled. It’s obvious no one person or organization is going to meet the needs. It’s got to be the Body of Christ.”