Welcome back friends! I continue to share precious nuggets from my recent attendance at the ICEJ Summer Conference near Nashville TN. The ICEJ (International Christian Embassy Jerusalem) is headquartered in Jerusalem, but has branches in about 100 different countries. The US branch hosted their annual conference, where we were treated to incredible ministry updates, fantastic teaching, and world-renown topical speakers. (Danny Ayalon, former Israeli Ambassador to the US gave the keynote address. You will find it here.)
Perhaps the most riveting address was delivered by Pastor Umar Mulinde, a Christian Ugandan evangelist, converted from Islam. He has endured unbelievable persecution (including a dozen threats to his life), and I will include his story in video at the end of this post. However, his message to us was this: the more we live in fear and/or denial of Muslim goals in the US, the more vulnerable we become.
(Before I provide details of Pastor Mulinde’s message to us, it is important to know: I do not believe all Muslims are jihadists or terrorists. In fact, many are peaceful. However, those who follow the teachings of the Qur’an (Muslim holy book) and abide by them are bound to be something other than peaceful. It is said there are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, but let’s drill down to only Muslim adults in America. According to an article by Franklin Graham in USA Today (less than a year ago), there are 1.8 million Muslim adults in our country, 86% of whom are peaceful (according to a survey). When asked if violence against civilians is justified, 7% said “sometimes” and 1% said “often.” Thus, over 100,000 Muslim adults living in America today justify things such as suicide bombings in the name of Islam. Let’s not lump every Muslim into the whole, but let’s also be discerning of the fact that we are in immediate danger from the 100,000…many of whom we can’t clearly identify.)
As for Pastor Mulinde, a former Muslim, he used passages from the Qur’an to demonstrate the goals and ambitions of the Muslim faith and compared them to Scripture.
- Bible: Jesus is the Son of God. Qur’an: Allah has no son. Because Jesus Christ is the basis of Christianity, the first target of Islam is the church. The issue is a spiritual one, not a political one. Thus, the “solution” will never be a diplomatic, political agreement.
- Bible: Love your enemies. Qur’an: Kill “people of the book” (Jews, Christians) Radical Islamists will resort to any measure to kill Christians and Jews (and even other Muslims who don’t believe as they do), and will become emboldened if allowed to continue. For example: suicide bombings began in Israel and no one did anything about it. In fact, some blamed Israel! As a result, suicide bombings are happening everywhere now.
- Bible: Jesus will ultimately set up His kingdom on earth (Millennium). Qur’an: Rid the earth of infidels in order to set up an Islamic world empire under Sharia law.
Pastor Mulinde touched on the current idea of “Islamophobia,” reminding us that there is more persecution of Christians than any other group on the planet right now. No country persecutes Christians who convert to Islam, yet many Muslims who convert to Christianity are persecuted. We need to pray for both Christians and former Muslims who convert and now face persecution.
Regarding President Trump’s attempt to limit passports for those traveling from Arab countries known to support terrorism, Mulinde reminded us that those with an Israeli passport are banned from entering about 20 different countries (primarily Arab), yet there is no uproar about that….and they are not terrorists!
Finally, in a very straight-forward challenge, Pastor Mulinde stated that God is “calling agents of truth to take their position and be counted.” It is time to call good good and evil evil. Against radical Islam, we must call it what it is, and we must engage the fight with Israel, in Israel…or it will come here.
Now to Umar Mulinde’s story of conversion to Christianity and his persecution:
A side note: ICEJ was a primary sponsor in getting Mulinde to Israel and into treatment.
Please pray for Pastor Mulinde as he recovers physically, and as he continues to preach the Word of God to his countrymen, and around the world!