Don’t count on the ACLU to complain about violations of the separation of church and state on this one. Or should I say mosque and state (how about an infamous mosque and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton?) AP has reported Feisal Abdul Rauf, the Imam planning the mosque near Ground Zero, is being sent to three Middle Eastern countries on a religious mission to promote peace and tolerance. I wonder when the government will send my Calvinist pastor on a trip abroad to promote Arminianism among Scottish Covenanters?
Seriously, the only real hope for better international relations with Muslim countries is for God to bless the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Whatever one says, one cannot but be struck by the freedom Muslims have in the USA compared to the freedom Christians have in Islamic nations. None of the three Islamic nations Rauf intends to visit have freedom of religion.* In the United Arab Emirates, virtually all evangelism is forbidden. The government of Qatar follows Shariah Law while the state religion of Qatar is the strict Wahhabi form of Sunni Islam. The church is persecuted in all of these countries as well as Morocco and Egypt, where Rauf visited as part of a State Department exchange program in 2007 and 2009.
Of course, Christians should not whine and complain when we are persecuted, for Jesus said “Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20). He works these things for our good. We must neither give up preaching nor count on a Godless government to do our jobs for us.
*This information comes from an ingenious interactive map by Voice of the Martyrs on www.Persecution.com.
David is currently an adjunct instructor of Composition and Speech at Marshalltown Community College in Iowa. His wife and he have also owned a business selling antique and collectible postcards on eBay since 1999. David was an activist with Operation Rescue in the early 1990s. He is a member of Trinity Presbyterian Reformed Church in Johnston, Iowa.
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