COMMON MISPERCEPTIONS CHRISTIANS HAVE ABOUT MUSLIMS
By Karen Bejjani
Recently, I grabbed a cup of coffee with a dear friend I hadn’t see in a while. As we caught up on each other’s lives, I shared more about iHOPE Ministries, the mission and this community.
She was stunned to learn Islam is growing here while Christianity is declining, and that in our children’s lifetimes, Muslims world-wide are projected to outnumber Christians. She could immediately see the perfect storm coming and was curious about how she might be part of the solution.
As we continued to chat, I realized that she shared many of the same assumptions about Muslims that I once had, that Muslims in North American…
- Already know about Jesus
- Wouldn’t be interested in hearing about Jesus
- Want to keep to themselves
- Were all terrorists
When I began to truly engage and build authentic relationships with Muslims, my misperceptions vanished. Now some of my most joy-filled spiritual discussions recently have been with Muslim “persons of peace” who are seeking to know more about Jesus and what it means to be a follower of Christ.
I shared some of these inspiring stories* with my friend to assuage her misperceptions:
- Sara, a former Muslim from Kuwait, lived in the US eight years before a co-worker told her about Jesus. She became a Believer and now shares the Good News with other Muslims.
- My airport car driver, a Muslim from India, had lived in the US six years when we met and he said, “I don’t know much about Jesus. Tell me more about Him.” He prayed with me in our driveway that the Lord would reveal the Truth to him about Jesus.
- Iman, an international student from Uzbekistan, studied here two years when she we shared a meal in our home and shared, “You and your husband are the first American Christians I know. I wish I knew some Christian young people my age, but they aren’t friendly.”
- Mary, a Muslim from Iraq, lived in the US for over twenty years, and has just began to study the Bible because her Christian friend invited her.
One thing I know to be true is that “thoughts” lead to “actions,” and “actions” lead to “results.” If many Christians are thinking, “All Muslims are…(terrorists, etc.),” how likely will they be to take action and bear fruit? If you said, “Not at all,” you’re right!
There’s an unfathomable number of Muslims who’ve never heard the Good News about Jesus Christ. And it will take every Christian involved to help turn trends around. Holding on to these common misperceptions is not helpful.
Would you be willing to help raise awareness among your Believing friends for the need to share Jesus with Muslims? Together we can erase misperceptions. Start by sharing the stories we’ve shared with you or tell one of your own!
John [4:36] says, “…what joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike!” Whether you’re already sharing Jesus with Muslims, or you’re praying about getting started, I hope you experience this joy often in your lifetime.
- Consider what assumptions you might be carrying about Muslims. How are those thoughts helping your ability to share the Good News and bear fruit?
- Start a conversation with a Believing friend about this topic. Share a recent iHOPE story, or one of your own, to shed light into any misperceptions you uncover.
- Introduce your Believing friend to iHOPE resources so they too, can get the courage, confidence and know-how to bear fruit among Muslims.
*Names and locations have been changed.