CAPE TOWN, South Africa – Hundreds of imams and mullahs from West Africa have been coming to Christ in the past decade and in turn sharing the Gospel with their peers, said a former Muslim who witnesses to Muslim scholars and clerics.
Brother Daniel (last name withheld for security reasons) said that the initiative he started has exposed over 10,000 scholars, clerics and mullahs to the knowledge of salvation through Jesus Christ over the past 10 years. From that number, some 1,000 have come to Christ with 500 of them having completed discipleship training. Currently, 58 former mullahs, imams, and scholars from the initiative are sharing their faith in Christ, exclaimed Daniel to applause from the Lausanne III crowd.
“The Muslims that are around us are good people; they are sincere in their beliefs,” said Daniel Friday morning. “[But] even though they are very sincere, they are sincerely wrong.”
Daniel, who grew up in a Muslim setting in Africa, said Christians are not eager to share their faith with Muslims even though Jesus commanded them to spread the Gospel. Christians are “disobedient and fearful” to share the Gospel even though the Holy Spirit has worked on the hearts of Muslims and they are open and waiting to hear the good news, Daniel remarked.
He shared that he recently led a sharia (Islamic law) court judge to Christ. After the conversion, the former sharia judge lost his job and has faced “unbelievable persecution.” But despite the fierce obstacles, that former judge has alone led over 100 Muslims to Christ.
“Even if he is going to be killed, he is thinking of more ways to reach out to the Muslims,” Daniel shared.
“We are constantly threatened, persecuted, attacked, and ambushed. We get a lot of calls, sometimes from Mecca, Medina, Iran, from the local Hezbollah group in our nations. Yes, we become afraid. We are fearful. We are not that hero. But you know what? We need to be obedient to the call of Christ and go.”
The evangelist to Muslim clerics spoke during the session titled, “Discerning the Will of Christ for 21st Century World Evangeilzation,” with Paul Eshleman, founder of The Jesus Film Project, as the keynote speaker.
Eshleman, during his talk, emphasized that it is unacceptable that after 2,000 years since Jesus Christ came to earth there are still people all over the world who have not heard the Gospel.
“The fact that there is still people groups today that have no missionaries, no church, and nobody even planning to go is wrong. It is absolutely wrong,” said Eshleman, who now serves as vice president of Networks and Partnerships for Campus Crusade for Christ International. “My question to us is how much longer will we wait?”
Delegates at the Lausanne conference represent nearly five million local churches, and 12 million Christian workers, he pointed out.
“Surely we can decide today that it is long enough,” he said. “Tell us where the global body of Christ needs us to go and we will go."
There are a total of about 8,000 languages, of which only 448 have a complete Bible, said Eshleman. About an eighth of the world’s languages (1185 languages) have New Testaments; and another 843 languages have a portion of Scripture.
“Here is the real tragedy: today there are 2,252 languages that have not one verse of Scripture and no one is planning to go to them,” Eshleman lamented.
He urged Lausanne delegates to help provide the manpower for 4,000 story-telling teams to be sent within the next two to three years so that no people group on earth will be without at least an oral version of the Bible.
More than 4,000 Christian leaders representing over 190 nations have gathered for Lausanne III, also known as Cape Town 2010. The purpose of the Lausanne Congresses is to bring the global body of Christ together to discuss how to best evangelize the world. The Congress has also been addressing global problems facing the Church, including secularization, Islam, HIV/AIDS, prosperity gospel, and environmental concerns, among other topics. The conference program will conclude Sunday.