Dispelling Myths about Christianity

Building Bridges of Peace with Listeners

Islam is the prominent faith in many of FEB Radio International's listening areas in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East ... and it's here where the radio ministry teams engage with scores of Muslim listeners every week through letters, text messages, phone calls, and e-mails. By far, the number one question asked is, "Will you be my friend?"

"People are lonely and looking for friendship," says a staff member of FEB Radio International's Middle East team. "They are looking for people with sincerity and integrity; whom they can trust, and share their problems and questions with."

A Middle East program producer says that Muslims are taught that Christians view them as enemies, and have no desire to be their friends.

"They view Christians as being 'just for the Christians'," adds the producer, "so when they hear we want to build friendships with them, they are surprised – because they do not think Christians are willing to talk to Muslims.

"Many of those who start out by sending us angry threats, change when they realize we do not want to fight with them. They even ask for Bibles, and want to find out more about what
we believe, and this opens the door for the Gospel."

A misconception held by many Muslims, is that the Christian faith is fraught by immorality, divorce, a lack of family values, and even complicity in sexual abuse.

So, when ministry broadcasts are aimed at strengthening moral relationships and families, they help to dispel this view, and it challenges Muslims to re-examine the Christian faith.

For example, FEB Radio International's station Baraka FM in Mombasa, Kenya estimates that it has about 80,000 Muslim listeners – that's over 50 percent of the daily listening audience!

While these Muslims know that Baraka FM is a Christian station, they are drawn to listen by the way the radio ministry applies biblical teaching to help build healthy families and communities.

One of the ways that Baraka FM is shining the light of Christ, is by showing love and practical support to both Christian and Muslim listeners in need ... and the station recently helped raise funds for a Muslim girl, who needed major surgery.

Religiously motivated violence has had a devastating effect on some parts of Africa, and violent protests are increasingly being seen by some as a way to avenge "affronts" against Islam.

In 2007, an independent Christian station in Nairobi apparently suffered a religiously motivated attack – the station's building was bombed, a security guard was killed, and masked men demanded an evangelistic program be taken off the air.

In the face of this reality, Baraka FM has also taken the initiative to encourage peaceful dialogue between Christian and Muslim leaders.

Although building bridges in the face of tension and distrust is not easy, through these discussions Christian leaders have been able to express their desire to find non-violent ways of addressing disagreements ... while Muslim leaders have learned that Christians share their commitment to combat drug abuse, rape, and poverty.

When Christians reach out to communicate peacefully and respectfully with Muslims, dangerous misconceptions about the Christian faith can be dispelled, and this can even help lessen the persecution that many Christians face.

FEB Radio International has pioneered a new radio project to share Christ's love with the "unreached" Muslim majority in a South Asian country.

To quote the radio ministry's program director: "While there's an established minority church in the area, they were not trying to reach out to their Muslim neighbours because of a genuine belief that Muslims could not be saved! Their attitude was, 'why bother?' That is very sad!"

The director added that on more than one occasion, the radio team had heard from listeners who had gone to local churches to find out more about Jesus – only to feel unwelcome, or even be turned away. Yet, Muslim listeners continue to come to faith in Christ through radio broadcasts there ... and FEB Radio International is broadcasting discipleship programs to encourage them.

A program producer says that sometimes Muslims (who come to faith in Christ), find themselves unwelcome in established churches due to distrust, or fear of persecution. He adds, "We frequently get threats, but we have to follow the example of Jesus.

"Jesus appeared to Paul, even though he persecuted Christians. Paul put Christians in prison; he even killed them ... and in parts of the world, Muslims are doing the same to Christians.

"But if we are not willing to love Muslims, then we will never have another Paul."

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