Islam growing in Europe, anger growing in the Netherlands

By December 10, 2004

Netherlands (MNN) — The recent murder of filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, whose film “Submission” sharply criticized Islam’s treatment of women, has angered the Dutch people. That anger brings into question the future of open borders in the Netherlands. Van Gogh was killed while cycling in Amsterdam. His killer also left a note threatening Dutch politicians and others for criticizing Islam.

Missionary David Boyd with Baptist Mid-missions says the Netherlands has gone from a nation of tolerance, to division. “More and more people are now saying, ‘well Holland is just full and we already have enough people who are not integrating, let’s close the borders. Let’s force those who are here to integrate into our society and we can’t have them trying to take over.’ Holland has traditionally been a very tolerant nation and it’s now taking a different direction.” Boyd says politicians who have come out against Islam have been threatened by radical Muslims.

While the problems could affect religious freedom, Boyd says it could affect something else. “I have my questions about what it’s going to do for missions in the Netherlands, for instance, from the United States. If a decision is made in parliament that the borders are closed, that will include all foreigners, Muslim foreigners and Christian foreigners.” He questions whether they would be able to get missionaries into the Netherlands to do the work.

A politician who’s hoping to lead the governing party is already speaking out about the borders. Boyd says, “He has already announced that, ‘I will close the borders and force the people that we already have to integrate or they’ll get kicked out.'”

Pray for the Boyd family as evangelism is slow and difficult as apathy is the biggest problem facing the Dutch people today.

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