Why We Care About Ramadan
In 1978 Brother Andrew wrote: “May I state here that in my opinion, the Muslim threat to the worldwide Church of Jesus Christ may, in one decade from now, be greater than the Communist threat has ever been.”
In 2018, the World Watch List, which lists the 50 most dangerous countries to follow Jesus, identifies 33 countries where the main source of persecution is from Islamic oppression.
The word Islam triggers panic and fear in many Christians, but when we’re honest, often we don’t know much about their religion, worldview or lives.
To truly reach Muslims with the gospel, we must first understand who they are and what they follow.
Image: Muslim man in Qom, Iran.
What Does Islam Mean?
The word Islam means to submit. To be a follower of Islam, or a Muslim, is to submit to the will of god, known in Islam as Allah. The Quran is the holy book of Islam, written by Muhammad who is considered to be the ‘ideal man’ and final prophet. The Quran teaches that there is only one god, Allah.
What Is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar during which Muslims fast and pray to get closer to Allah. Muslims believe that the first revelations of the Quran were made to Muhammad during Ramadan.
During Ramadan, Muslims often become more devoted and passionate towards their religion. As a result, extremist expressions of Islam become more violent. Persecution towards Christians living in Islamic countries intensifies during the month of Ramadan.
Image: Indonesian Muslims praying in a mosque.
What Muslims Believe About Jesus
While Christians believe that Jesus is God, Muslims do not. Jesus appears 25 times in the Quran and is given special status, but He is only ever referred to as a prophet. The Quran states that Jesus never died on the cross but agrees that He will return to earth to usher in the end of time.
Muslim Background Believers
The number of believers from a Muslim background is growing. When Muslims convert to Christianity, they face intense persecution. The consequences of converting depends enormously on the country. Many are cast out by family and close friends, lose jobs, the benefits of citizenship, or are even killed. Nearly all believers from a Muslim background must keep their Christian faith secret.
A Christian Response To Ramadan
Over 1.8 billion people around the world identify as being Muslim. During Ramadan, Muslims are earnestly seeking to get closer to god. In Matthew 5:44, Christ commands us to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us.
During Ramadan we are inviting Christians to not only pray for Christians who face persecution, but to pray that the 1.8 billion Muslims will find the one true God.