As we intercede for Muslims, we are often acutely aware of the barriers they face in accepting Christ. Muslims must navigate through many layers of religion, culture, and familial relationships, which often seems like an impenetrable wall to break through. However, as followers of Christ, we can be reticent to examine our own heart or, better yet, allow the Spirit to inspect our hearts to identify any barriers resident within us toward Muslims. Over my years of ministry to Muslims, I have learned to remind myself that the root of these barriers is a spiritual matter. There is a battle to prevent me from sharing Christ, as well as a battle to keep Muslims from receiving Christ.
“Forgiveness of sins? I love that thought,” said Ahmed as we sat enjoying our meal at a Midwestern diner. We had been talking about Ramadan, a month set aside for fasting in commemoration of Muhammad’s first revelations from Allah. During Ramadan, the ninth month in the Muslim calendar, adherents of Islam fast from dawn until dusk. The Arabic word for fasting is sawm, which literally means “abstinence.” Throughout the daylight hours of Ramadan, Muslims all over the world abstain from food, drink, and sexual activity, as well as impure thoughts and words. The most devout Muslims may even avoid swallowing their saliva during this month of fasting.
The persecution of Christians in former Soviet Union countries in Central Asia is, of course, bad news. But, ironically, it is also good news because it is evidence that people there are embracing the Good News of Jesus Christ in growing numbers and faithfully following Him. Christian communities historically existed in this vast region, but they were destroyed by the invasion of Islam.
One phenomenon produced by globalization, international travel, immigration, and online dating sites is a rise in cross-cultural, interfaith interactions. When two people fall in love and decide to marry, both partners bring their own worldviews, family backgrounds, and expectations into the relationship. The absence or presence of faith adds another dimension to any relationship. This article examines key spiritual differences by comparing and contrasting Christian and Islamic views on dating, marriage, family relationships, divorce, and children.
Since the 1980s, one of the demographic shifts in America has been the influx of West African immigrants. Over the last fifteen years, legal immigrants from Africa have been entering the United States at a rate of about 50,000 per year. This significant influx has raised the percentage of foreign-born African people in America to approximately 4 percent. Many Africans migrate to cities like Washington D.C., Atlanta, and Los Angeles. A large number settle in the New York City area.
The expression “Abrahamic Religions” has become widely accepted in academic and popular conversations as a cover term for a genetically connected “family” of three religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In Religious Studies departments on campuses across the Western world, the term has become the standard way to refer to the three monotheistic religions, in contrast, for example, to Indian religions or East Asian religions.