Christianity wins converts from Islam in spite of a growing Muslim revival.
If the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and the pursuit of “jihad,” Islamic holy war, has shaken the citadels of international power, the movement has endured some shaking of its own from an unexpected force: evangelical Christianity.
In recent years, as Islam has ascended to power in several countries, Christians have been gearing up for a spiritual “counterrevolution.” Organizations such as the Samuel Zwemer Institute and the U.S. Center for World Mission have alerted the church to the magnitude of the Muslim challenge. The world’s Muslim population represents an unreached group of nearly 900 million people.
“If we don’t go to the Muslims with the gospel in love, God will bring them against us in judgment,” says J. Christy Wilson, Jr., a professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a former missionary to Muslims. “Muslim eschatology teaches [that] they will conquer the earth. They consider themselves in a holy war to take over the whole world.”
Ironically, Wilson says, Muslims are more open to the gospel today than ever. “In the next 10 years I see a great influx of Muslims to Christ if Christians take the Great Commission seriously.”
As a group, Muslims have been the focus of little Christian missionary effort. Wilson says less than 2 percent of Protestant missionaries have committed themselves to Muslim evangelism. Don McCurry, executive director of the Samuel Zwemer Institute, estimates that for every one million Muslims, only one full-time Christian missionary is working in Muslim evangelism. He says, however, that the number may be growing. His figures do not include “tentmakers,” Christians who take secular jobs in foreign countries hoping ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 60+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more