The end of Ramadan signifies less tension between Christians and Muslims

By September 21, 2009

Egypt (MNN) — On Sunday, Islam's holiest month of the year,
Ramadan, came to an end. Now as they enter their month of Shawwal, they
participate in Eid al-Fitr, a three-day feast to break their fast.

While Christians are not quite celebrating, they are breathing
a collective sigh of relief as the tension between Christians and Muslims and
the increased militancy will hopefully diminish, according to I.N. Network.

Because of
the nature of Ramadan, many Muslims became more devout throughout the month,
including those who only nominally practice their faith the rest of the year.

"It is a time when often Muslims who are moderate become
much more aggressive about their faith, and they [see it] as a time to be aggressive
as they deal with Christians," said Rody Rodeheaver, president of I.N. Network
USA. "It has psychological and emotional effects just from not eating, and
people get grumpy."

As a result, there was a rise in persecution against
Christians and other non-Muslims who refused to participate in Ramadan. This is
especially true in southern Egypt, where many radical and fanatic sects are
located. Several reports said Christians and other non-Muslims were arrested
there for refusing to participate in Ramadan.

Rodeheaver said while I.N. Network's people in the area have
not seen arrests or been threatened themselves, arrests were possible
especially with the high concentration of fundamentalist Muslims.

For that reason, Christians in Egypt and all around the Muslim World kept
a low profile during the month of Ramadan. Rodeheaver said Christians had to be
careful who they spoke with.

The key for Christians during this time, says Rodeheaver, was,
"One has to build relationships where people have a sense of who you are and
see you as someone who's just sharing a wonderful thing that's happened in your
life and that could make a difference in their life."

Otherwise, Muslims might see them as a threat, and their witness
might be ruined.

Now, with Ramadan over, Christians can relax to some degree, but
they should still remain vigilant. Rodeheaver said one of I.N. Network's
prayers for Muslims is that "people who are focusing on God will at least be open
to a conversation about the meaning of spirituality in their own lives."

He said they hope these conversations will lead to further
discussions and even lead many to faith.

As I.N. Network continues their work in Egypt and across the
world, they are thankful for the many people all around the globe praying for
them and their ministries. Rodeheaver asked you to continue praying for their
staff in these countries as they look to effectively communicate the Gospel in
individuals' languages and cultures.

One way I.N Network is continuing their effort in Egypt and the surrounding countries is through their correspondence courses. These courses are for new believers who have recently left Islam to help ground them in their Christian faith. So far, they have sent out over 7,000 courses to the area.

You can ensure I.N. Network's efforts continue globally by
visit their Web site and donating today.

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