Friday, December 28, 2007

Tragedy in Pakistan

This is a tragic time for the nation of Pakistan following the appalling scenes of chaos and brutality yesterday in which Benazir Bhutto was assasinated. She was without doubt the symbol of moderate Islamic politics and whatever question-marks surround her previous administrations or her husband's record she did hold out the hope that extremists might be sidelined in the coming elections. Now she is dead and Pakistan is one step nearer to becoming a fanatical Islamist state posessing nuclear weapons.

I well remember my time visiting Pakistan and the impression made on me then by the people there. It is an amazingly busy place, with nearly three times the population of Great Britain and huge crowds of people jostling the cities and airports wherever you go. It is also dominated by mosques - some ancient some very recent - and the sound of the muezzin calling the faithful to prayer through his loudspeakers early in the morning is one of the abiding memories that I have. What we should not forget in all this political turmoil is the relatively large and growing number of Christians in that land. They meet in all the major cities and in quite a number of rural areas also. They are being persecuted for their faith, but are seeing the faithfulness of God to them as friends and neighbours are being won for the Lord. They need our prayers at this time.

In fact, in all the talk of Islamic extremism we should not lose sight of what God is doing amongst ordinary Muslim men and women. Large numbers of them are following Jesus and are delighting in the teachings of the injil (gospel). Whereas years ago, Muslim converts to Christianity were very rare, since 9/11 that is no longer the case. God is revealing Jesus to Muslims in their dreams. Christian radio like FEBA Radio and other media such as SAT 7 tv are reaching into previously closed lands. Muslim immigrants are coming to faith in the West and forming all ex-Muslim congregations of believers. Now is the time to pray for Muslims everywhere and to seek to befriend them whenever we can. Let them see that real Christianity is not the immoral materialistically bankrupt society they see on their cinema screens. Model before them what it means to follow the teachings of the prophet Jesus, and to walk in God's ways by God's grace. (If you want to know more about Islam you can purchase the download study guide that I have written called 'What Muslims Believe' from Despite the tragedy in Pakistan God is on the march!