Blog

Eye On… Islam: The History of Islam in Latin America

A few weeks ago, we shared the history of the Islamic kingdom of Al-Andalus in Spain during the Middle Ages. Over the centuries, the Arabic and Spanish cultures merged in a number of ways, and a portion of the Spanish language melded with Arabic, producing the Castilian dialect. When the Spanish and the Portuguese colonized what became Latin America in the 15th century, much of the blended DNA came with them and, although the religion of Islam was not transplanted, the commonalities in the two cultures remained. Muslims began to immigrate to Brazil and Argentina in the 1920’s. Mosques were built,…

Eye On… Islam: From Latin America to Afghanistan

After attending Bible college, Pablo met and married a wonderful woman who was a devout follower of Christ. Together, Pablo and his new wife felt God calling them to missionary service in Panama where they planted a church and started a Bible school. During their time in Panama, Pablo met a community of Muslims from Afghanistan. But after the September 11, 2011 tragedy in New York City, Pablo developed a bitter resentment toward Muslims. Soon, though, the Holy Spirit convicted him of his unChristlike attitude, and his hatred was replaced with God’s love for Muslims. When Pablo and his wife…

Eye On… Islam: Sharing Christ with Our Neighbors!

“The love of a Christian couple” is what brought Sarawut* and Malee* and their children, a Muslim family in Thailand, to understand the gospel and accept Christ as their Lord and Savior. A Christian couple, Niwat* and Sinee*, attended the training and told us the story of how they had reached out to their Muslim neighbors, Sarawut and Malee. They didn’t hound them. Instead, they took advantage of every opportunity the Spirit provided to share the truth about Jesus. Through Niwat and Sinee’s love and compassion, Sarawut and Malee saw the love of Christ. While facing a difficult financial and…

Eye On… Islam: The History of Islam in Asia Pacific

Throughout history, the religion of Islam spread at a fantastic rate across portions of the world as Muslims migrated, intermarried, and gained converts. A combination of charismatic leaders, enterprise, and military might combined to make Islam a force in the developing world that often rivaled and came into conflict with Christianity. The Asia Pacific region contains the largest populations of Muslims, with Indonesia claiming 225 million Muslims. Islam reportedly had a small presence in the region until the 12th century, when Muslim traders and merchants made significant inroads. These traders developed ports, gained influence with local leaders, and set down…

Eye On… Islam: Muslims in Asia Pacific

“On February 14, 2009, the Lord captured me.” This is the testimony of Hakim*, who was a devout Muslim until he had an encounter with Christ in an Indonesian village. Hakim had suffered from chronic bronchitis since birth, which continued to grow worse. He coughed non-stop from 6 to 9 p.m. every night. Seeking help, he went to visit a Muslim healer but was not cured. On that February day, Hakim’s motor scooter engine “happened” to die in front of his wife’s former teacher’s house. She and her husband are Christians and they invited Hakim into their home. Hakim was…

Building a Bridge to Reach Muslims in America!

From Somalis in Minneapolis, to Chi Alpha international student ministries on college campuses, to the major cities of Chicago and New York, to smaller cities like Springfield, Missouri, there are many open doors to share the gospel with Muslims. Although Global Initiative primarily focuses on training the local church in Muslim majority countries, we also partner with U.S. missionaries and Chi Alpha campus ministries to reach Muslims here in the United States. In order to share the gospel with Muslims in America, believers must prayerfully build a relational bridge with Muslims and knock down the barriers that prevent us from…

Eye On… Islam: New Brothers and Sisters in Europe

“My biggest challenge has been the attitude of some of the people within the church,” says Smith. “I have had a lot of opposition. Criticism, negative attitudes and trying to undermine the work that we are doing – that’s from the white British congregation.” The quote above is from Rev. Sally Smith, who has been ministering to Muslim refugees in Stoke-on-Trent, and has seen a dramatic restructuring in her congregation as a result. Several sources, including our colleagues in Europe confirm that Muslims are coming to Christ at an unprecedented rate, but some also report that some convert to ensure that…

Eye On… Islam: The History of Islam in Europe

Yesterday, we discussed the influx of refugees in Europe, and how that has increased the Muslim population. However, Islam has a long history on the continent of Europe, beginning in the Middle Ages. Under the Umayyad Caliphate, Muslims spread throughout the Middle East and began to quest into Europe. The Iberian Peninsula, conquered in 711, became known as Al-Andalus and it’s capital, Cordoba, was a center of commerce, culture, and learning for 500 years. Sicily and a portion of southern Italy was eventually conquered as well. The Christians and Jews who did not convert to Islam were subject to increased…

Eye On… Islam: Muslims in Europe

In 2011, civil war broke out in the country of Syria. By 2014, over 6 million Syrians had been forced to flee their homes under threat of violence. These refugees flooded into the countries surrounding Syria, but by 2015, at least 500,000 sought asylum in Europe.     Amira* and her 12-year-old son, Sayid*, had made the long journey from Syria all the way to Macedonia. This is a long trek for anyone. But it is an even greater challenge for a mom with cerebral palsy to carry her son on her back that distance. More than 3,000 refugees have…

Eye On… Islam: Where are we going?

There’s a lot being said about Muslims right now… who they are, what they want, and what they believe. It’s important for us, as the body of Christ, to be influenced by both the unvarnished truth and the love that God has for all who are lost. So, what can you expect in the coming weeks? We’re going to present stories from colleagues and partners who interact with Muslims in these regions on a daily basis and share facts about Islam, both its history and how it affects the modern world. We want to challenge ourselves and our perceptions of…