Sunday, September 21, 2008

Mission and Dictatorship

On 20 August, Gaddafi's son Seif al-Islam al-Gaddafi, shared a gem of insight with the world. When he announced his withdrawal from political life, he stated:
The Arab nations live in a forest governed by dictatorships that have imaginary parliaments and constitutions.
I believe these dictatorships are one major stumbling block for Christian mission in the Arab World, as they make it very hard for muslims to become followers of Christ. I am often asked why Muslims are so resistant against the Gospel; I usually point to the happy marriage between the dictatorships and Islam. In general, the dictators are upheld by Muslims society, as long as they speak the language of Islam. And that is what they do, especially in the realm of conversions to the Christian faith.

I do not think Muslims are more resistant to the Gospel than anyone else. Their rulers and society make it, however, rather hard to seriously consider the option of giving one's allegiance to Jesus Christ.

What we need is not new methods, new 'keys to the heart of Muslims', new contextual mission, what we need is true democracy. I believe that the Church in the Arab World and beyond should have democracy in the Arab World high in its banner. Not in the sense of one-man-one-vote only, but also in the sense of upholding the right of each individual to make his own choices, lead the life he likes, andf believe what he wants to believe.

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