Christianity making inroads among Muslims

Extracts from an article by Rachel Zoll (Associated Press) entitled "Christianity making inroads among Muslims" and published in the Lethbridge Herald on April 26, 2003. Click here to purchase a copy of the full article.

Christian groups say they are having more success than ever evangelizing Muslims.

In some Muslim countries, it is a crime for Christians to proselytize. Missionaries have circumvented bans on proselytizing by beaming Christian programs into the Mideast and North Africa. The Christian satellite TV network SAT-7 broadcasts into Muslim countries, including many that bar missionaries.

One of the top North American-based mission groups, Christar, trains field workers by sending them to mingle with Muslims in New York and New Jersey.

At one time, it was common to try to win over Muslims by disparaging their beliefs and proclaiming Christianity superior. Events like the Iranian hostage crisis made Christians more sensitive to the Muslim world. Missionaries changed their approach in Islamic nations. They seized on the Islamic belief that Jesus was a Prophet to begin a dialogue. Missionaries incorporated local worship customs into church services, calling God "Allah" and keeping women separate from men, just like in a mosque.

Top mission groups say there are now hundreds, if not thousands, of Muslim converts in places where there used to be none. And satellite TV networks are reaching millions more Muslims for the first time.

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