A Seventh-day Adventist specialist on Muslim relations told world church leaders that unique opportunities exist for Adventists to reach out to Muslims in their communities through centers of influence such as hospitals and schools.
Though migration because of war is not good, it does pose an opportunity to share the love of Jesus with neighbors and friends by supporting them in their time of need, Petras Bahadur, director of the Global Center for Adventist-Muslim Relations, told the church’s Annual Council business meetings last week.
“Jesus can come at any time,” Bahadur said. “But He cannot come until Matthew 24:14 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.’”
Islam was the world’s largest faith community during the 15th and 16th centuries, but Christianity holds that position today. 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 become the world’s largest religion because of the growth rate of its population, conversions, and steady devotion to its beliefs.
Statistics indicate that about 75 percent of the millions of Muslims living in the Western world say they do not personally know or have Christian friends, Bahadur said. This may be linked to cultural differences or perhaps fear, but many opportunities have opened up to facilitate interactions, he said.
Bahadur discussed the challenges of reaching out to the Muslim community and how the Adventist Church could meet their needs. He said Adventists should seek to build bridges, bringing the two religions to a better understanding of each other, and present a different approach of expressing the love of Jesus.
Bahadur reminded church leaders that this is a significant time in the history of humanity when Islam is in news headlines almost on a daily basis. He stressed that Muslims need to know of Jesus. He said Adventists can share important spiritual truths by God’s grace and through the careful study of the Bible and key passages of the Quran.
Annual Council attendees received a copy of the book, “What Does the Holy Quran Say About the Holy Bible?” The resource is produced by the Global Center for Adventist-Muslim Relations.