USA (MNN) — While sharing their faith in street evangelism
in Dearborn, Michigan, four Christians were arrested and accused of "disorderly
conduct." What does this mean for the future of Christians in the United States?
Dearborn, the unofficial Muslim capital of the U.S., hosted
the annual Arab International Festival this past weekend. Many
Christians–some former Muslims–go to the festival and use it as an
opportunity to share the good news about Christ with their Muslim brothers and
Though in past years there had been some confrontation
between Christians and Muslims, this year all the Christians at the festival
were peaceful in their interactions and simply wanted to converse with other attendees, said
Tom Doyle of E3 Partners. E3 Partners had people at the festival, though
none of them were arrested.
With these arrests, questions arise about the tolerance the U.S. proclaims and how Christians have been excluded. Doyle believes the arrests
are predictions about the future: "Things like this are going to be
happening more often, unfortunately." Doyle continues, "Even though we do live in a free country and we have freedom of religion, it does seem that [we], as Christians, are
unfairly singled out".
Doyle said there is a double standard between Christians,
and even Jews, and other religious groups such as Muslims.
Just recently, Doyle said another sign of this was apparent
in Los Angeles, California, as angry Palestinians rallied to protest the Gaza
flotilla blockade. In the midst of them, newscasters videotaped a lone
16-year-old Jewish boy walking, carrying an Israeli flag. The Muslim mob began
shouting at him, threatening his life and demanding he put down the flag, well within
earshot of police.
The boy said little, and when he did speak, he spoke calmly
to the cameraman. While police stood by–and at one point stood between the mob
and the boy–they made no move to stop what the Muslims were saying.
Because Doyle does not expect this double standard to change
anytime soon, he said Christians should be prepared: "I think we should
Among Christians, methods of outreach traditionally have
been debated; but Doyle says ministry should not stop–street evangelism or
otherwise. "I don't want to stand and be critical of people who are
willing to go into the arena and share the Gospel in a potentially-hostile
environment like that."
Doyle asks everyone to pray: pray for teams and
for protection in their continued street ministry. Pray for wisdom in the words
they choose, and for U.S. laws to be upheld.
Visit E3 Partners' Web site for specific prayer requests
for their ministry.