SHARING OUR FAITH
[C] WHY ARE WE DOING SO POORLY?
- Lack of interest:
- Only 5%-9% of the population of Britain attends church, thus 91% of the population is unchurched. In London, only 5-8% go to church, the majority of whom are West Indian, and so culturally distant and misunderstood by the majority of Asian Muslims. In the absence of a viable Christian witness, Muslims are able to propagate their beliefs within the urban centres with little opposition. Today the UK has only 8,500 missionaries worldwide (26% of whom are short-term). Thus, since 1910, British missionaries have dropped by 31%, and are supported by only a fraction of the population!
- Worldwide, at any given time there is approximately 138,500 Protestant missionaries:
38,000 Asia (7.3% of pop.= Christians, 1 missionary/ 172,000 people)
27,000 Africa (48.1% of pop.= Christians, 1 missionary/ 27,000 people)
18,000 Latin America (90.9% pop.= Christians, 1 missionary/ 28,200 people)
13,000 Europe (77.2% pop.= Christians, 1 missionary/ 52,400 people)
7,000 Pacific (66.8% pop.= Christians, 1 missionary/ 6,700 people)
2,210 Middle East (4.6% pop.= Christians, 1 missionary/ 150,000 people)
1,700 Muslim World (less than 1% pop.= Christians, 1 missionary/ 500,000 people)
- If we look at the Muslim world as a whole, of the 138,500 Protestant missionaries worldwide only about 1,700, or less then a trifling 2%, work among Muslims. That gives us ONE MISSIONARY FOR EVERY 550,000 MUSLIMS!!
(i.e. Pence coins = Muslims from here English Channel, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China, Vladivostok Peninsula, Sea of Okhotsk, Kamchatka Peninsula, Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands, and finally Anchorage, 9,671 miles away; vs. 1 pence/missionaries = back of the room)
- North America (U.S.A. and Canada), with nearly 300 million people, missionaries or pastors permitted to work there would be only 150, squeezed into a paltry 8 churches!
Yet, in U.S., with 7% of the world's population:
96% of all Christian money spent there
94% of all full-time Christian personnel remain and work within its borders!
- One of 600 Christian full-time workers works cross-culturally.
- more missionaries in Alaska, one of our least populated states, than in the Muslim world.
- Africa in 1975 = 53% Muslim; 16,000 career missionaries, only 250 among Muslims!
- Kenya has 5,000 missionaries, 3 times the number that work in the Muslim world.
(i.e.=10 new missions in Kenya in 10 years; none went to work with the Muslims)
Lack of results:
These are due to a number of reasons:
- not enough workers, thus not enough time and energy spent on tackling Islam.
- a general growing confidence of Islam worldwide, particularly since the overthrow of the Shah in Iran in 1979.
- the perception that Muslims care for each other, particularly within the family, and have little problem with racism (Nation of Islam carries the 'high moral ground').
- the attraction for Islam's moral discipline.
- the simple logic of its theology helps to disseminate it easier.
- the weakness of recognized (Anglican) Christianity in Britain.
- the lack of relationships between Muslims and Christians.
- the theological confusion by Christians that evangelism is the domain of the clergy alone (for example: of the 6 groups referred to us for information, only one is actively working full-time with Muslims in the UK).
Persecution of Apostates:
Those who fall away from Islam (apostasy) or wish to convert to Christianity.
-usually persecution lasts 1-3 years.(Refer to paper: Free to Choose by Patrick Sookdeo)
- The push to have the government broaden the Blasphemy laws to also include Islam.
- Muslims want the blasphemy laws to be widened to include material offensive to Islam, thus no criticism will be permitted of Islam, Muhammad, or the Qur'an on TV, in the schools, or in public. Example: Salman Rushdie and Satanic Verses, Taslima Nasreen in Bangla-Desh.
- Muslims want law on ethnic discrimination to be enlarged to religious discrimination.
Mistrust of Christianity:
(Making it difficult to create relationships)
A strong distrust by Muslims of anything which is 'Christian'.
Belief that Christians pervert historical data as they did their scriptures, with a bias against Islam. There is the perception that the west, and thus Christianity, has an agenda to eradicate the Muslim countries in the world. Thus new events are interpreted by this perception.
- Gulf War is perceived as a Muslim/Christian conflict (with theological contradictions).
- Bosnia Conflict is widely considered to be a Christian atrocity, with consequently little concern witnessed by the West. "Why did the west send troops so quickly to Kuwait and Somalia, and yet stand by and watch the rape and murder of hundreds of Muslims in Bosnia, prohibiting Muslim nations to send in arms for the defence of the Bosnians? This sparks clearly of a double-standard."
- hechnia conflict is perceived as a Muslim/Christian conflict as well.
- Kosovo conflict follows the same patterns as Bosnia and Chechnia
- Sudan and Afghanistan bombings are perceived as a 'double-standard'. Which is truly the terrorist state, and were the bombings used as a diversion from Clinton's personal troubles? Why does the Western Press not critique the evidence of the U.S. state department?
Mistrust of Western Education:
(due to a bias against Islam = conspiracy)
Muslims have not been able to adapt to a multi-cultural environment, because historically Islam has always dominated others. Thus Muslims distrust western education, as they feel it is responsible for taking their children away. They demand an alternative educational system.
- They demand that Muslim schoolgirls wear more conservative clothing, that Halal meat be available at school meals, that Muslim holidays be celebrated, that Muslim boys and girls be separated during instruction, that they not be forced to learn swimming, and that Muslim children be absent from school assemblies.
- They demand specific Islamic instruction for their children, by an Imam (Muslim religious leader), and contend that "the acquisition of modern knowledge be limited to the practical technological sphere, since at the level of pure thought Muslims do not need Western intellectual products, as these may create doubts and disruptions in the Muslim mind, for which there are already answers to ultimate questions of world view."