USA (MNN) — A political move in the U.S. presents an opportunity for believers. A travel ban enacted in 2017 limited entry to the U.S. from a handful of countries known for terrorist activity – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. However, those restrictions were overturned in recent days, along with previous changes to the vetting process. While some celebrate the change, others voice concern about national security.
“We can sit and debate this all day. But for us, as believers, we know this: it’s a golden opportunity,” Tom Doyle of Uncharted Ministries says.
“Never before have Muslims been so open to the Gospel and the love of Christ. I would call Christians to try not to see things through a political lens, but through a biblical lens.”
Travel ban context
Controversy surrounded the travel ban, with critics saying it targeted Muslims. Dispute drove the legislation into the Supreme Court, which upheld the restrictions in 2018. More than 40,000 travelers were refused visas, the AP reports.
Supporters of the travel ban say it targeted potential terrorists, not followers of Islam. As of 2017, more than 300 people who entered the United States as refugees were the subjects of counterterrorism investigations.
In defending Executive Order 13780, the revised version of a previous executive order, former president Trump stated:
Executive Order 13769 did not provide a basis for discriminating for or against members of any particular religion. While that order allowed for prioritization of refugee claims from members of persecuted religious minority groups, that priority applied to refugees from every nation, including those in which Islam is a minority religion, and it applied to minority sects within a religion.
Listen to Doyle’s full interview to learn how immigration changes under recent presidents affected Christians.
“As believers, we can ‘play politics’ and talk about the Obama administration, the Trump administration, and the Biden administration. But when you look at the New Testament and what the apostles did, they were ready to reach out to all people – no matter where they were from,” Doyle states.
“You see Jesus reaching out to Roman soldiers, a woman from Tyre, foreigners; it really didn’t matter.”
A new mission field
Ask the Lord how you can share His good news with Muslim neighbors or coworkers. “One of the reasons they have come to our country in the first place is that Islamic governments failed them,” Doyle notes.
“Let’s reach out with love, build friendships, and see what happens as we share the Gospel with them.”
Look for tips in the new book Doyle co-authored with his wife, JoAnn. “We just released Women Who Risk: Secret Agents for Jesus in the Muslim World. It’s about heroic women that have come to faith in Christ in the face of incredible danger and threat to their lives in Muslim countries,” he says.
“At the end, we give points on how to reach out to [Muslims], how to build friendships.”
Header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of Jan Tinneberg/Unsplash.