International (MNN) — It’s being called one of the greatest human rights tragedies of our time. According to reports, radical Islam is targeting Christians. Muslim persecution of Christians is happening all over the world, including in Palestinian-controlled areas. Sadly, these stories are being ignored by the world.
According to estimates from various secular and Christian organizations, 100 to 200 million Christians are persecuted every year simply because they call themselves Christians. One Christian is martyred every five minutes. Approximately 85% of this persecution occurs in Muslim-majority nations.
While the amount of persecution is increasing, the world is seeing more Muslims come to Christ for salvation. At least that’s what Jim Bowman of Scriptures In Use says. “We’ve been working especially hard over the last 15 years in Islamic Africa, Islamic India, and South Asia. As a result we’re seeing something historic happening. We’re seeing thousands and thousands coming to Christ.”
What is SIU? “Scriptures In Use is about making disciples of oral learners. And we have been focusing on a strategy to make disciple-making movements among most of the people who prefer a more interactive form of learning,” says Bowman.
Bowman says that’s even happening in the United States. But, in Islamic areas of the world, it’s even more true. He says their unique oral discipleship techniques are helping Muslims understand what Mohammad says about Jesus. “He says He is the Word of God, that if you want to know the truth, the Quran says, check with those who came before–that is the Christians. They understood the message of Jesus Christ.”
That’s why they’re using a strategy to help Muslims walk through the Bible to help them understand who Jesus is and ultimately why they need a Savior.
Bowman says many Muslims are relying on what they know about Jesus and Scripture from what they’ve been taught, rather than what they’ve learned on their own. That’s why oral story telling is important in Muslim outreach. “By the time they’ve heard these stories and they’ve had a chance to interact with these stories, they come to a new understanding of the person of Jesus Christ, who they call Isa.”
Why are so many Muslims turning to Jesus for answers? “There is such a tremendous disillusion and discontentment because they’ve seen the violence. The vast majority are very concerned about the violent Islamic worldview.”
When they come to Christ, their lives are in danger. Most Muslims believe apostasy is punishable by death. “We’ve seen people who have lost their lives. We’ve seen others who have had to flee, others who have stayed doggedly committed to their families and doggedly committed to sharing the God News despite the persecution.”
There’s another reason for the change of heart. “Islam offers no eternal security. So when they hear the message of Jesus Christ, many of them are beginning to realize that they’re finding a spiritual security in Christ they’ve never found before.”
SIU is working in 30 countries. Bowman says, “We have about 12 teams that are working on a daily basis, going in and helping to train local people to tell the story of Jesus, and help them to communicate this message to their own families and their own friends.”
Bowman is encouraging you to take SIU’s free 10-hour Bridges course, which is on their Web site at http://www.siutraining.org. There, you can learn how to use oral discipleship in the context of outreach. This training is effective for all kinds of outreach, including outreach to Muslims.