In a presentation to the Executive Committee during the 2016 Annual Council, Petras Bahadur, director of the Global Center for Adventist Muslim Relations (GCAMR), talked about opportunities that exist through Centers of Influence such as hospitals, and schools for Seventh-day Adventists to reach out to Muslims in their community. Though migration due to war is not good, it does pose an opportunity to share the love of Jesus with our neighbors and friends by supporting them in their time of need.
On October 10, Bahadur discussed the needs and challenges of reaching out to the Muslim community and how the Adventist Church can meet those needs. GCAMR seeks to build bridges, bringing the two religions to a better understanding of one another, and present a different approach of expressing the love of Jesus.
Currently, more than 7.6 million Muslims live in the United States, but according to a recent research study, 75 percent of Muslims in the western world say they do not personally know or have Christian friends. This may be due to cultural differences or perhaps fear, but many opportunities have opened up to facilitate interactions, says Bahadur.
Bahadur says he believes that we need a balanced approach to reaching out to Muslims rather than an extreme approach. Everyone attending the presentation received a copy of the book, “What does the Holy Qur’an say about the Holy Bible,?” a resource produced by GCAMR.
Islam was the world’s largest faith community during the 15th and 16th centuries, but today, Christianity holds the title. Geographically, however, Islam dominates the globe, and many of its territories are not welcoming of Christians. Sociologists predict that within the next 50 years Islam will once again be the world’s largest religion due to the growth rate of its population, conversions and steady devotion to its beliefs.
Bahadur reminded leaders that this is a significant time in the history of humanity when Islam is in our news headlines almost on a daily basis and stressed they need to know of Jesus, and by God’s grace and through careful study of our Bible and key passages of the Qur’an we can share these important spiritual truths.
“Jesus can come at anytime,” said Bahadur, “but He cannot come until Matthew 24 verse 14 has been fulfilled. ‘And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.’”