‘Love Muslims’ offers change of perspective

International (MNN) — A recent Pew survey showed the majority of self-identified white Evangelicals in the United States — about 70 percent — are “very concerned” about extremist Muslims in the country, as compared to about 50 percent of Americans overall.

(Muslims in Saudi Arabia/Image capture courtesy of Prayercast.com)

At the same time, another poll, conducted by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, indicated that 60 percent of Muslims in the U.S. have faced some level of religious discrimination over the past year.

The data reveals a deep schism in the country, furthered by suspicion and fear.  What could help turn this around?  A change of perspective, answers Director of Prayercast Ministries, Chris Ruge.  “In the entire history of Islam, we’ve never seen God move in such powerful ways, and it’s not happening in any one place, but throughout the Muslim world.  God is moving and drawing people to Himself in powerful ways.”

Prayercast uses the tools of our day — video, audio, and the internet — to unite and resource tens of thousands of people in over 190 countries in prayer.

However, the events since the Arab Spring have created a unique opportunity.  Ruge explains, “Muslims all over the world are questioning right now.  There are existential, life-sized questions going on among Muslims and God is using this time to open doors that have not been open for 1,400 years.”

As a result, he’s spearheading a massive undertaking called ‘Love Muslims’, a unique project of somewhere between 75 and 125 separate videos, about three to five minutes long, to help people around the world pray specifically that God would move among Muslims around the world.

(Hajj pilgrims, Saudi Arabia/Image capture courtesy Prayercast.com)

Why Muslims?  “While we are seeing Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, and all kinds of other faith background people coming to faith in Christ, we’re not seeing it in any of those groups at the scale that we’re seeing it happen right now among Muslims around the world.”  The vision, he says, is to create the most comprehensive set of prayer resources  to mobilize the Body of Christ to pray for Muslims.  “We’ve been working for about two years now on the research and development side of the project.  We are now in production mode and we believe that production is going to take roughly two years.  Our hope is to launch completely by the end of 2018.”

Andrew Murray, a turn of the century missiologist who considered missions to be the chief end of the Church, once said, “The man who mobilizes the Christian church to pray will make the greatest contribution to world evangelization in history.”  Ruge agrees and says a big part of the ‘Love Muslims’ undertaking is not only to activate in prayer, but also “…to be clear about what Scripture says: that God loves Muslims so much that He sent His only Son to the Earth to pay the penalty for their sins.  It’s sharing that message and that component of discipleship that’s an important part of the project, especially for the Church in the West.”

(Men in Qatar/Image capture courtesy Prayercast.com)

With such an enterprise, spiritual warfare is expected.  He says the greatest prayer need for the entire project is that God’s heart of love for the Muslim people around the world would permeate everything so that “… when a Muslim in Central Asia comes across this material, that they’re going to watch this and they will feel the love of Jesus in this, that they feel loved; at the same time, that the Body of Christ around the world, when they encounter these, that they will feel that same depth of love for 1.6 billion people around the world.”