Why You Should Care about Islam

Alan's monthly letter for June 2009

Dear Friend,

Muslims are the largest unreached people group in the world. Of the 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, 38,000 die every day and enter eternity without Jesus. Any Christian concerned with the Great Commission should therefore care about Islam. It’s the belief system that’s holding one in every five people on earth captive.

But it’s not only the death of Muslims that’s a concern. It’s also their births. Islam’s rapid growth is largely due to their higher fertility rate. Cultures that maintain a fertility rate of 2.11 children per family can sustain their population, but Europeans have an average rate of 1.38. Muslims in France, however, have 8.1 children per family and in the Netherlands 50% of all newborns are born to Muslim families. At this rate, the Netherlands’ population will be half Muslim in just over ten years.

In Britain, the Muslim population has multiplied ten times faster than non-Muslims in that last four years. By contrast, the number of Christians fell by more than two million during the same period.

The German government, recognizing a similar trend in their country, said, “The fall in the [German] population can no longer be stopped. Its downward spiral is no longer reversible…It will be a Muslim state by the year 2050.”

It’s not surprising, then, that Libya’s leader, Gaddafi, said, “There are signs that Allah will grant victory to Islam in Europe without swords, without guns, without conquest…We don’t need terrorists, we don’t need homicide bombers. The 50+ million Muslims will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades.”

Russia is facing a similar situation. Their fertility rate is only 1.28, which explains why their population is dropping at a rate of 700,000 a year. Muslims already account for 20% of their population and their fertility rate is 10 children per family. Russia estimates that its military will be more than 50% Muslim in just five years.

Islam’s strategy is the same for the North America. In the last three decades, the number of Muslims in the U.S. has climbed to nearly nine million. A coalition of American Islamic groups expects that number to climb to 50 million by 2040. They’re preparing for this rise in Muslims by building Mosques and Islamic schools. What are we doing to prepare?

Though these numbers are startling, we need not flee in fear, but begin to prepare. Global missions is coming to our doorstep. We don’t have to get on an airplane and fly to a distant country to reach Muslims. We can simply go down the street.

My plan is to train and equip Christians and to engage Muslims directly with the truth of Jesus. I’m currently developing two resources that will help fulfill this plan. The first is a training manual called An Ambassador’s Guide to Islam. This will be a tool that prepares Christians to share the truth with Muslims. It will contain cutting-edge research on Quranic manuscript evidence as well as critical scholarship of other Islamic sources.

The second resource is a Muslim missions trip. It will be a multi-day trip consisting of training, role-play, lectures by Muslims, a visit to a Mosque, and personal interaction with Muslims to practice new evangelistic skills. And, as alluded to above, this mission’s trip can be experienced in virtually any major city in the U.S.

I know you see the importance of my work on Islam and I’m grateful that you believe in this vision. Your faithful support will equip Christians to be ready to reach Muslims in our midst. And with the power of the Holy Spirit, we will witness a new trend – that of Muslims coming to the truth of the Gospel more than they have in the past. I’m excited to partner with you in the Great Commission. We are living out 2 Corinthians 5:20 together as we share the message of reconciliation to God with the world.

Your partner for the Truth,

Alan Shlemon

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Alan Shlemon