400% Increase in Persecution
The persecution of Christians in the 10/40 window area of North Africa, the Middle East and South Central Asia has increased by 400% over the last 10 years. Some of the worst persecution of Christians is taking place in the Arab nations of the Middle East, particularly in Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, in the Muslim dominated North of Nigeria, in Sudan, in communist China, North Korea and in Buddhist Burma.
Corruption and Cruelty
Soon the Ottoman Empire began to decline into corruption and degeneracy. When Sultan Murab III died in AD 1595, his son Muhammad had his 19, brothers murdered to prevent them from claiming his throne. He also had seven of his father's pregnant concubines sown into sacks and thrown into the river. Many of his nephews were incarcerated in "the cage". Sultan Ibrahim threw his grand vizier into a cistern. One morning, after an orgy, Ibrahim had all 300 women of his harem put into sacks and thrown into the Bosporus. Only one survived by being picked up by a ship bound for France. When Ibrahim was finally assassinated, the Ottoman Empire was torn apart by corruption, nepotism, inefficiency, misrule and power struggles.
Symbolism is extremely important to Muslims. They traditionally build mosques as a memorial to their victories. Dates, events and places are commemorated to spin history to their own advantage. The propaganda value of an ecclesiastical edifice, at the very site of the most devastating terrorist attack America has ever endured, is inestimable. Why?
Apparently Rev. Terry Jones is bent on burning books this Saturday, 9/11, while his little Florida flock looks on. This is not a good idea, nor is it even common sense. In areas where there is inflammable or explosive material we see "No Smoking" signs. That warning is common sense. There is perhaps no area on earth today more inflammable or potentially explosive than the Muslim world. Why strike a match in a highly combustible environment? Everyone, from General Petraeus to the Pope, has registered a reasonable objection to this pyrotechnic nonsense.
Yakubu dresses in traditional Muslim Hausa robes and hat, but, he is a dedicated Christian. Yakubu was converted to Christ in Jos in 1980. Since 1991, he has been a full-time Evangelist dedicated to winning Muslims to Christ. His ministry, Bazata, means “Unexpected.” He explains that their strategy of using drama, films and Gospel music in the traditional Hausa style, is unexpected, but the primary inspiration for their ministry name is that Jesus will come at a time that no one expects.
Back in 1999 while our mission was being bombed by the National Islamic Front government in Sudan, fellow missionaries were organising “Reconciliation Walks” to the Middle East to apologise for “The Crusades”. At the time, as our church services were under aerial and artillery bombardment by Jihadists, it seemed rather bizarre. Therefore I undertook a study of the crusades and Jihad.
Anin Maalouf in “The Crusades through Arab eyes” claims that the Crusaders conquest of Jerusalem in 1099 was “The starting point of a millennial hostility between Islam and the West.” Islamic scholar John Esposito blames the Crusades for disrupting “Five centuries of peaceful coexistence elapsed before political events and an imperial papal power-play led to a centuries long series of so called Holy Wars that pitted Christendom against Islam and left an enduring legacy of misunderstanding and distrust.” (“Islam: The Straight Path” OUP).
Maranatha Christian Fellowship again organized a series of public meetings for me in three universities in Minnesota, this time on 'The Crusades and Jihad'.
Previously I’d been invited to speak at the universities in Minnesota on Sudan, and on 'Slavery – The Rest of The Story'. These presentations had engendered a lot of controversy and attention, particularly from Muslim students. This year’s university meetings on The Crusades and Jihad received even more opposition from Muslim and Atheist students.