USA (MNN) — The Dove World Outreach Center has canceled plans to move forward with "International Burn-a-Quran Day" in commemoration of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The decision was unrelated to the deep impact on ministry to Muslims.
Mission Network News has already discussed the danger to Christians that would result from burning the Quran, especially those living in predominantly-Muslim nations. (Click here for the full story.) But another group is also at risk: Muslims.
Muslims may not endure physical trauma or harassment as Christians likely will if the church goes through with their plans to burn multiple copies of the Muslim holy book; they may, however, suffer spiritually.
Fouad Masri of Crescent Project, a ministry dedicated to bringing the Gospel to Muslims in the States, says tomorrow's events will seriously distract Muslims in their pursuit of the Gospel. "This is just another way to distract from Muslims hearing the words of Christ and coming to know Him as Savior and Lord."
Masri says many Muslims already have skewed ideas about what Christianity teaches, and they believe that Christians have altered the Bible. A public desecration of the Quran will be just one more thing for Muslims to add to their list of reasons to stay far from Christianity.
"We need to minimize the static. We need to minimize the distraction and keep the issue on Christ," says Masri.
How do believers eliminate the "static" of one church's actions, though? How should believers respond?
Masri has a suggestion for that, too. "We need to build bridges. We need to start by showing love, compassion to our Muslim friends. Make the statement that we do not believe that disrespecting anyone is a Christian value. You can even say, ‘Jesus said to love your neighbor, and you are my Muslim neighbor.' And offer them a Bible."
Crescent Project is offering Bibles to Muslims across the United States in an attempt to reach each of the 7 million Muslims there with the Truth. The thousands of people that have been trained by Crescent Project will undoubtedly be dealing with new questions from their Muslim friends, in the wake of the burning cancellation. Pray for God to use them. You can also help them by providing them with Bibles to give to Muslims. It only costs $10 to get a Bible in the hands of a Muslim. Please give generously when you visit their site.
Muslims are responding to the Truth and need to continue hearing it. "The solution today is for Muslims to know really what Jesus came to teach, what is His message, and that He can save them from their sin. This story out of Florida is distracting the issue."