The horrible events of 9/11 in 2001 changed the United States and set it on a path that no one could have seen coming. According to Pew Research, the number of Muslims is growing in the U.S., and so is the number of Muslims who are experiencing negative treatment because of their religion. This ranges from suspicion to outright violent attacks.
Islamophobia - What is it?
Islamophobia is a term used to describe the negative bias against Muslims and the religion of Islam which leads to unfair treatment. It has been a popular topic of conversation in the media, and it is something that Christians need to be keeping their eyes on.
The Church’s role in fighting Islamophobia
Christians, we need to care about this. The growing presence of Islamophobia is something that affects Muslims every day. As the hands and feet of Jesus, we can be ambassadors of love to hurting people, specifically Muslims who feel shunned and afraid.
Muslims can be very isolated in the U.S. on school campuses, in the workplace, and in public spaces. If you have Muslim friends, it is important for you to make sure they know they are not alone.
Even if you don’t have Muslim friends, check in on your heart right now. Do you treat someone differently because of their religion? Just because somebody doesn’t follow Christ doesn’t mean that we avoid them or treat them as an outsider.
Jesus loved everyone He came in contact with during His ministry on Earth, going out of His way to connect with people that society shunned. He treated everyone as worthy of His time, and loved them as they were.
What loving your Muslim neighbor looks like
Islamophobia and unconditional love cannot co-exist. As Christ-followers we are called to love others just as Christ loved us. Doing so means being conscious of any biased or unloving thoughts or feelings you may have, and asking the Lord to replace them with His love.
Love is a lot of things, just look at 1st Corinthians 13, the famous chapter about love. Loving your Muslim friend does not mean that you are supporting their religion or their beliefs. Loving them means being a good friend to them, checking in on them, making time for them, and ultimately sharing the truth with them.
Like Jesus, we will have opportunities to speak truth into our Muslim friend’s lives. But we do not get these opportunities without being loving first! Jesus loved tax collectors, Pharisees, and people who wanted to overthrow the Roman government. His life and actions were enough to inspire those around Him to change their ways, and the same thing can happen through your friendship.
When you authentically love your Muslim neighbor, you are giving them an example of Christ’s love. You can be the person who makes them feel accepted and loved.
Bible verses about being a good friend
“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:12-13
Where Call of Love comes into this
One of the reasons Call of Love was started was because the founders saw the need for the Western Church and Christians to be educated on Islam in order to understand and reach the Muslim population growing in the United States. We saw that there was a huge misunderstanding about true Islam and saw the importance for Christians to be equipped with the truth– it is not the religion of peace that many Muslims say it is.
But this does not give anyone the right to mistreat Muslims and isolate them. Most are victims of the ideology that they grew up in. They were born into Muslim families, and told they must be Muslims and told they cannot question their faith. The truth is, your Muslim neighbor is most likely not the strictest of all Muslims and may not even realize the truth about their own religion.
We are here to be a source for the Church. We want to help shed light on the true Islam, but more importantly, give believers tools to use in their personal ministry of bringing the Gospel to their Muslim friends! If this is something that you are passionate about, subscribe to our blog and give us a follow on Instagram or Facebook. If you have friends who share a heart for evangelism, share this with them!
Dear Lord, please give me a heart to love others. Replace any fear of people who are different from me with a love and passion for sharing Jesus with them! Thank you for loving us all so much that you sent your Son to die for us. Help me share your love with the Muslims in my life. Amen.