Topics: Evangelism; Great Commission; Islam

Reference: Matthew 28:18–20

Hafsa, a Muslim, lives down my street. I have met her son, Mousa, who skateboards with my son and talks about religion. I told Mousa that I would like to meet his mother. He gave me her phone number, and I called her. She was not home. I called a week later. Mousa answered. He said that she wasn’t home but that he would have his mother call me. She didn’t.

A week later I tried again. Mousa answered and said he would “make it my mission” to have his mother call me. That was several weeks ago, and she still hasn’t called. I’m told that many Muslim women possess as much reticence and misunderstanding toward Christian Americans as Christians do toward Muslims. They think our faith is corrupt and we hate them.

“When it comes to reaching Muslims, multitudes of people have stumbled for cultural, social, and linguistic reasons before they ever had the opportunity to stumble at the cross,” says Robert Douglas, former director of the Zwemer Institute of Muslim Studies and now director of the Chicago Center for Urban Mission. He says Christians confront many obstacles that thwart them from understanding and relating to Muslims.

Nonetheless, we must try. “There is a desperate need for evangelical Christians to take the time to understand Islam and not to buy into the stereotypes that are floating out there,” Douglas says. “We will have to work hard at building relationships with Muslims, which means a Christian presence where Muslims are concentrated.”

—Wendy Murray Zoba, “Islam, U.S.A.,” Christianity Today (April 3, 2000)