Christian missionaries preying on the vulnerable in Syria conflict

Sakeena Suliman – Cii News | 20 February 2014/20 Rabi ul Akhir 1435

Missionaries are known for employing aggressive evangelizing tactics while claiming to serve a humanitarian purpose in countries hard hit by war and natural disaster.

These Christian missionaries are very present in Arab countries such as Jordan and Iraq and other Muslim countries around the world openly declaring their aim to convert Muslims to Christianity, calling Muslims “the most difficult group to convert”.

“With love and respect inviting all Muslim peoples to follow Jesus,” reads one such missionary’s mission. Similarly, other missionaries are “actively recruiting new leaders and members to go to the Muslim world today – especially to those places where the love of Jesus is not yet known”.

While the lure is a humanitarian one, recipients of the missionary aid are often expected to pay an incredibly high price in return: their Imaan. In Jordan, Syrian refugees have been welcomed by Christian missionaries who say they hope to teach them about Jesus and lure them into their fold.

“Some people came to us taking advantage of our situation, we are widows and orphans and we are living here by ourselves,” says a Syrian woman on a YouTube video posted by AhlNussrah, “They came to us with these books and said we should read them and memorise them in exchange for covering our rental costs and some allowances. So they actually want to buy our religion in exchange for money, they want to give us money and buy our Deen.”

The woman appealed to Muslim scholars and the Muslim world to step in before the “exploitation” is successful.

“Obviously we have to memorise the bible within a certain time frame and they tell us that they will come on a specified day to check that we have memorised it,” she also said.

This is a common tactic used by missionaries, going into troubled regions to take advantage of the victims. Islam also does not advocate Muslims using methods of exploitation when inviting to Islam (da’wah).

A 2002 article published on MotherJones.com, a nonprofit news organization that specialises in investigative, political, and social justice reporting, exposed what takes place in a missionary class.

“Inside one Southern university, Christian missionaries are being trained to go undercover in the Muslim world and win converts for Jesus. Their stated goal: to wipe out Islam.”

The article describes how the largest Christian group in the world, with 800 missionaries in 50 countries, reaches out to countries from the South Pacific to North Africa, with every major Islamic region in between.

Students at the university at the time were being taught to find another “pretext” other than their stated goal for being in the country – in other words, to camouflage themselves. “In Indonesia, evangelists ran a quilt-making business to provide cover for Western missionaries, allowing them to employ-and proselytize-scores of Muslims.”

In November 2013, Turkish President Abdullah Gül called on Muslim countries to take more responsibility and offer “their own solutions” for the resolution of the ongoing crisis in Syria, during a meeting of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Muslim countries have so far not been able to offer definitive solutions for the crisis in Syria that has been continuing for more than two-and-a-half years.

sakeena@ciibroadcasting.com

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