Archive for November, 2010

November 24th, 2010

Effective Method(s) for Christian Outreach to Muslims

I recently participated in a panel discussion at Wheaton College. The panelists—seven in total—were Christians of Muslim background who are natives of various countries with minority and majority Muslim populations. The moderator asked us various questions, among them, “How long was it between when you first heard about the gospel before you accepted Christ?” [Emphasis mine.] None of us answered this question directly because we could not pinpoint exactly how long it took us from the time we heard about Christ to embracing him as our Lord and Savior. I wasn’t surprised it was equally challenging for my fellow panelists. Here are a few things I observed about Christian outreach to Muslims:

First, none of the panelists came to salvation in Jesus Christ from reading the Qur’an. It didn’t surprise me but I should be surprised especially because the current trend in Christian outreach to Muslim advocates for “bridge” building, which includes using the Qur’an as an evangelism tool. The Camel Method and Jesus in the Quran (JIQ) are notable examples. They are gaining ground in the United States. JIQ has the backing of Christian mega churches and has weekend seminars around the country with the introduction, “Jesus in the Qur’an is, in some ways, an entirely new paradigm and, in other ways, an ancient one dating back to the days of Jesus.” [Emphasis mine.]

The sad thing is, the Jesus both these organizations promote is the Jesus of Islam—of Prophet Muhammad’s own making—who is an immediate nephew of Moses and Aaron in the Qur’an and the Hadith. This clue should be conspicuous enough to ground these projects but they are going strong.

Secondly, even though the panelists answered the question “How does your community view Christians and Jews?” negatively; some of them decided to follow Christ because of exemplary lives of Christians they had encountered. Typical mistrust of Christians widespread among Muslims, which both the Qur’an and the Hadith promote, did not hinder these ex-Muslims from wanting to know why their Christian neighbors and friends’ character was different. No wonder Allah commands a Muslim in the Qur’an not to take a Christian as a friend. They meet Jesus! How many Muslims would our living a Christlike life affect if we only let our light shine? Muslims have misconceptions about Jesus, Christians and the Bible. We should make every effort to reach out to them.

Thirdly, none of the panelists had a Christian sit down with him or her to show faults in Islam. There are Christians who have copies of the Qur’an and the Hadith to show Muslims what is wrong with Islam. There is plenty of wrong with Islam but a Muslim should hear the Gospel first. Unlike the Qur’an, which Muslims cannot defend without first trying to discredit the Bible, the message is self-sufficient. The Apostle Paul wrote, “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.” [1st Cor. 1:17. NIV, Emphasis Mine.] Our efforts to make the Gospel palatable to Muslims are undermining the Gospel. Why do we need to innovate in order to “gain” a few for the Lord?

There were more questions. The discussion was very encouraging to me. Hearing all testimonies of how my fellow panelists came to the Lord and what persecution they had faced and overcome was uplifting. I was very blessed to meet fellow believers with shared background and who still have family troubles because of their new identity in Christ.

Hussein Wario is a former Kenyan Sunni Muslim. He is the author of Cracks in the Crescent. He blogs regularly here. You can listen to his testimony here or read it here.

November 22nd, 2010

Pakistani President Pardons Asia Bibi (Blasphemy)

International Christian Concern (ICC) reports Pakistani President has pardoned Asia Bibi. Here is the story:

Washington, D.C. (November 22, 2010)–International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that today the president of Pakistan has pardoned a Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy.

Asia Bibi was sentenced on November 8 after a court in Punjab province found her guilty of making blasphemous statements against the Islamic prophet Muhammad. According to Pakistan’s blasphemy law, it is a crime punishable by death to blaspheme the Islamic prophet.

Her release came after intense international pressure by politicians and church leaders as well as coverage by several media outlets.

Asia has now been taken to an undisclosed location for her safety. In the past, Christians have been killed by vigilantes after being accused of blasphemy. On July 19, gunmen killed Pastor Rashid Emmanuel and his brother, Sajid Emmanuel, while police were transporting them from the court in Faisalabad to jail. The gunmen also seriously wounded a policeman accompanying them.

Some Muslim lawyers and other fundamentalist Muslims are preparing to demonstrate against Asia’s release.

Read the rest of the story here.

Prayers have been answered. Let us continue to pray for Hector Aleem and other Christians in prison for blasphemy and or apostasy, and their loved ones.

November 10th, 2010

Alert: My Testimony Is not for Sale

The story of God’s work of grace in my life is not for sale. Jesus Christ paid it all. I did not do anything to earn my salvation. I have been sharing this testimony free of charge for more than two decades. Listen to it here. Read it here. Read more about it here.

Many asked me to put the story in writing. Now my autobiography, Cracks in the Crescent, is in print. You can get your copy here.

Surprisingly, some reputable online retailers tout it as hard-to-find, rare and out-of-print book. They use these labels to justify their outrageous pricing even for used copies. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw some of their prices, especially one of them, which is a whooping US $346.13—22 times more than the cover price. Is this still capitalism or a rip off? Why would they mislead people when even their tag “Usually ships in 3 weeks” shows these retailers must be buying directly from me? Here are some examples:

On Books A Million a new copy sells for between US $193.32 and 346.13.

On Alibris a new copy sells for between US $115.44 and 230.24.

Here are a few things to note. First, Cracks is not a P.O.D. (Print or Publish On Demand) book. There are thousands of copies in print. If you would like a copy, you can order it from Amazon.com, Google, my website or visit these bookstores. Secondly, if you are just interested in the first few chapters, you can read it (my upbringing, conversion and persecution) for free on Google Books here. Thirdly, if you would like to get a copy, it retails for US $15.99 and there is an offer for free shipping.

To minimize any distortion of the testimony—some unhappy Muslims have made attempts to distort testimonies of ex-Muslims including mine—I have come up with some guidelines you can read here. Please feel free to print my posts in any non-commercial publication provided you include this copyright notice: “© 2010, Hussein Hajji Wario. All rights reserved. Originally published at http://www.cracksinthecrescent.com.” You can also duplicate audio of my testimony for your own use or for your organization as long as you are not charging for it.

I hope these guidelines are clear. Please feel free to contact me with further questions. Have a blessed day!

The story of God’s work of grace in my life is not for sale. Jesus Christ paid it all. I did not do anything to earn my salvation. I have been sharing this testimony free of charge for more than two decades. Listen to it here. Read it here. Read more about it here.

Many asked me to put the story in writing. Now my autobiography, Cracks in the Crescent, is in print. You can get your copy here.

Surprisingly, some reputable online retailers tout it as hard-to-find, rare and out-of-print book. They use these labels to justify their outrageous pricing even for used copies. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw some of their prices, especially one of them, which is a whooping US $346.13—22 times more than the cover price. Is this still capitalism or a rip-off? Why would they mislead people when even their tag “Usually ships in 3 weeks” shows these retailers must be buying directly from me? Here are some examples:

Here are a few things to note. First, Cracks is not a P.O.D. (Print or Publish On Demand) book. There are thousands of copies in print. If you would like a copy, you can order it from Amazon.com, Google, my website or visit these bookstores. Secondly, if you are just interested in the first few chapters, you can read it (my upbringing, conversion and persecution) for free on Google Books here. Thirdly, if you would like to get a copy, there is an offer for free shipping. This limited time offer will end on Friday, December 31, 2010.

To minimize any distortion of the testimony—some unhappy Muslims have made attempts to distort testimonies of ex-Muslims including mine—I have come up with some guidelines you can read here. Please feel free to print my posts in any non-commercial publication provided you include this copyright notice: “© 2010, Hussein Hajji Wario. All rights reserved. Originally published at http://www.cracksinthecrescent.com.” You can also duplicate audio of my testimony for your own use or for your organization as long as you are not charging for it.

I hope these guidelines are clear. Please feel free to contact me with further questions. Have a blessed day!

http://solagrace.org/audio/by/title/testimony_of_jussein_wario

http://husseinwario.com/blog/book/

http://books.google.com/books?id=OENqmSqKkDkC&source=gbs_navlinks_s

http://www.booksamillion.com/search?raresearch=1&id=4866468415725

The story of God’s work of grace in my life is not for sale. Jesus Christ paid it all. I did not do anything to earn my salvation. I have been sharing this testimony free of charge for more than two decades. Listen to it here. Read it here. Read more about it here.

Many asked me to put the story in writing. Now my autobiography, Cracks in the Crescent, is in print. You can get your copy here.

Surprisingly, some reputable online retailers tout it as hard-to-find, rare and out-of-print book. They use these labels to justify their outrageous pricing even for used copies. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw some of their prices, especially one of them, which is a whooping US $346.13—22 times more than the cover price. Is this still capitalism or a rip-off? Why would they mislead people when even their tag “Usually ships in 3 weeks” shows these retailers must be buying directly from me? Here are some examples:

Here are a few things to note. First, Cracks is not a P.O.D. (Print or Publish On Demand) book. There are thousands of copies in print. If you would like a copy, you can order it from Amazon.com, Google, my website or visit these bookstores. Secondly, if you are just interested in the first few chapters, you can read it (my upbringing, conversion and persecution) for free on Google Books here. Thirdly, if you would like to get a copy, there is an offer for free shipping. This limited time offer will end on Friday, December 31, 2010.

To minimize any distortion of the testimony—some unhappy Muslims have made attempts to distort testimonies of ex-Muslims including mine—I have come up with some guidelines you can read here. Please feel free to print my posts in any non-commercial publication provided you include this copyright notice: “© 2010, Hussein Hajji Wario. All rights reserved. Originally published at http://www.cracksinthecrescent.com.” You can also duplicate audio of my testimony for your own use or for your organization as long as you are not charging for it.

I hope these guidelines are clear. Please feel free to contact me with further questions. Have a blessed day!

http://solagrace.org/audio/by/title/testimony_of_jussein_wario

http://husseinwario.com/blog/book/

http://books.google.com/books?id=OENqmSqKkDkC&source=gbs_navlinks_s

http://www.booksamillion.com/search?raresearch=1&id=4866468415725&qisbn=9780578001555&chunk=10&qsort=p

http://www.alibris.com/booksearch?qsort=p&siteID=BMAI54k.xMY-6bJvSC2hb2j9kKSb5V.rLA&qisbn=0578001551

&qisbn=9780578001555&chunk=10&qsort=p

http://www.alibris.com/booksearch?qsort=p&siteID=BMAI54k.xMY-6bJvSC2hb2j9kKSb5V.rLA&qisbn=0578001551

November 1st, 2010

Why Do Christians Suffer in Muslim Majority Countries?

Christians, whether of Muslim background or not, keep on suffering at the hands of Muslims in Muslim majority countries. Here are a few cases:

Two brothers, Rahid Emmanuel and Sajjid Emmanuel, were gunned down in July in their native Pakistan on false charges of blaspheming Prophet Muhammad. The court found them innocent. Some Muslims took the law into their own hands and executed them.

Hector Aleem, another Pakistani Christian, has been jailed for more than a year and a half on another false blasphemy charge. Even when Hector is innocent of this charge, the judge cannot release him for fear of retribution. Muslims have been demanding for his execution. You can watch videos of their protest here and here.

A Christian of Muslim background, Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, is languishing in an Iranian jail for over a year awaiting execution. He is accused of apostasy. Even the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has joined the push for his release from prison.

Muslims kill many Christians not necessarily for apostasy, blasphemy or proselytizing Muslims but for their mere presence, which is proof to their Muslim neighbors Islam is a colossal failure. Our Christian brothers and sisters in Iraq have suffered greatly. Here is a report from the Associated Press; what happened in Baghdad defies any logic:

BAGHDAD – Iraqi security forces stormed a Baghdad church where militants had taken an entire congregation hostage for four hours, leaving at least 47 people dead, including a priest, Iraqi officials said Monday.

A cryptically worded statement posted late Sunday on a militant website allegedly by the Islamic State of Iraq appeared to claim responsibility for the attack. The group, which is linked to al-Qaida in Iraq, said it would “exterminate Iraqi Christians” if Muslim women in Egypt were not freed.

It specifically mentioned two women in Egypt that extremists maintain have converted to Islam and are being held against their will.

The Egyptian women are wives of priests that are believed to have converted to Islam to leave their husbands, since divorce is banned by the Coptic Church. One woman disappeared in 2004 and another in July of this year.

Egypt’s Christians maintained they had been kidnapped and demonstrated for their release. Both were later recovered by police, denied any conversions and were then spirited away to distant monasteries.

In the message, the militants claim the two are still Muslim and they called upon the Vatican, which held a meeting earlier in October to discuss the fate of Christians in the Middle East, to release the women.

The death toll has risen to 58. It defies any logic someone would go about killing people over assumptions. It is very possible these two Egyptian ladies “converted” to Islam against their will when Muslims held them captives. However, when they found their freedom, they “denied any conversions” to Islam. Isn’t that enough? Why do people have to die? And why would something that transpired in Egypt, which did not result in any loss of life, adversely affect Christians in Iraq?

Whatever happened to Muslims in the West’s argument Islam “supports” religious freedom? The deeds of their fellows in Muslim majority countries and the lack of prosecution of their crimes against non-Muslims prove there is no religious freedom or justice in Islam for a non-Muslim. Western Muslims are not demonstrating against these injustices. Perhaps they know the verse from the Qur’an they often quote, “There is no compulsion in religion,” indeed was abrogated and they are just fooling the unsuspecting.