Monday, September 17, 2007

Muslims are captives

I had a revelation last night about Muslims. It was, simply, that Muslims are captives.

In the lands of Islam they are held captive by political, social and physical systems. Many would become followers of Jesus if they were allowed religious freedom. Just as in the USA, others would become secular given the freedom to do so.

But in the lands of Islam, religious conviction is enforced. Conversion to other religions is punished at the least by social ostracism, and at the most by physical torture or death.

In the lands that Islam seeks to bring under submission, including our own, there may be statutory religious freedom, but for those in Muslim families, rigid social and family ties make conversion difficult.

As I have spoken to Christians who have worked in Islamic countries, it has been very clear in each case that many Muslims would convert if they could do so without losing their family or their lives.

I think that we in the West do not clearly understand these control systems. We see the world through the lens of our freedoms to observe whatever religion we choose....or no religion. While there are certainly social control systems at work in the west, they are weak by comparison.

The effect of this revelation for me has been two-fold. First, I have prayed for a love of Muslims that overpowers my anger over the acts of a few of them. This revelation has helped me quite a bit toward that love. Second, I see more clearly than ever that we must quit treating Muslims as a monolithic block. It is only a few that seek to impose Islam by the sword. Against them we must be implacable foes, but for the majority, love and respect should be the attitude of our hearts.

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