USA (MNN) — With circumstances becoming increasingly dire in Iran, many people seek alternative options. They often flee to the U.S. or other Western countries.
However, according to Uncharted Ministries’ JoAnn Doyle, Muslim immigrants frequently encounter resistance upon reaching their new home. “(Iranian) women see the freedom that women have in America… and they long for that same freedom. They think, ‘If I come to this new country, I will finally have freedom’,” she explains.
“Then, they come here, and we Americans are afraid of them. Or, perhaps we even hate them because of 9/11 and all the terrorism that we see,” Doyle continues.
“So what do we do? We reinforce the lie that they don’t matter by ignoring them, or by pretending we don’t see them.”
Why women matter
According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly half a million Americans self-identified as having Iranian heritage. Over 40% of the estimated U.S. total resides in California. “In Iran… most of the people do not like the regime that they are forced to live under. So, many of them do flee, especially into California,” Doyle explains.
“Los Angeles, they teasingly say, is ‘Tehrangeles.’ There are so many Iranians there.”
Doyle leads Not Forgotten, a division of Uncharted Ministries. Together with a small team, she teaches Christian women how to reach their Muslim neighbors. Learn more here.
“Our heart with Not Forgotten is to reach out to those women behind the veil, to show them their biblical place of honor that Jesus has reserved just for them as women.”
Women are the spiritual gatekeepers of the home and family. So, “by reaching a Muslim woman, you truly can reach the Muslim world,” Doyle says. The ministry’s “Seen: Behind the Veil” gatherings turn theory into practice.
“As we’re saying ‘[go] engage Muslims’, a lot of people [ask], ‘well, how do I really do that?’,” Doyle says. First, when a request comes in, Doyle works with her team to plan a get-together.
“I’ll bring some of my team members and we will have [a one-day training session] where we will inspire you with what God is doing in the Muslim world. Then, we’ll inform you a little bit, give you a little bit of ‘Islam 101’,” she explains.
“Then, we will want you to go out and we will actually take you… to engage Muslims, whether it’s for Friday prayers, at a mosque, or maybe some Middle Eastern restaurants or boutiques – just with the goal to show you how easy it is and how fun it is to engage Muslims.”
How to share Christ’s love with a Muslim
Learn how to reach your Muslim neighbors for Christ by connecting with the Not Forgotten team. You can start by filling out the form at the bottom of this page.
Furthermore, Doyle says, you don’t have to wait for a training session to begin sharing Christ’s love. When you cross paths with a veiled Muslim woman, “show them that you see them. Engaging them in conversation shows that they matter,” Doyle says.
Your next step could be as simple as meeting for coffee.
“If you befriend a Muslim, you just may be the one that is blessed to lead them to faith in Christ.”
Most importantly, pray. For the women who’ve fled their homeland and found safety in the U.S., pray that their search for truth and meaning won’t stop until they find Christ. Ask the Lord to embolden and resource believers in these women’s lives to share the Gospel with them.
Header image courtesy of 8thirty8 via Facebook.