Special Focus on Refugees: Relating to Muslims: Your New Neighbour

by Janice Loewen, Blumenort EMC

What do I do now? My neighbourhood has changed and I have Muslims living on my street! How can I possibly share my faith with them? These are good questions to ask and ones that more and more people here in Canada are asking. I have lived most of my adult life among Muslims and will relate some thoughts and experiences of how easy it can be to share your faith with your new neighbours.

Don’t hide your faith.

Speak freely about your own faith and love for God without preaching at them. Muslims find it very easy to talk about their faith and God, so do not be alarmed or startled by this. Listen to them and be free to share Bible stories and your own life stories. They expect and assume you will talk about your faith.

Open your home.

Become a genuine friend to them and welcome them into your home. Being hospitable is very important to Muslims. They will easily welcome you into their home and their hope is that you will do the same. Their trust in you will expand as you enter one another’s homes.

Tell stories.

We tend to use a direct approach of repentance, forgiveness and a way to heaven (e.g., The Four Spiritual Laws) while Muslims are much more relational and are more easily moved by stories or illustrations. People from an honour/shame background are not direct when they approach people but rather like Nathan when he confronted David. He used a story to speak indirectly to David but it spoke loudly. (Jesus used many stories and parables to reach His own honour/shame society.) The parable of the Prodigal Son is a good story to share.

Pray with them.

Prayer is something that Muslims expect in a spiritual person so feel free to pray. Ask them what they need prayer for. Don’t be surprised if they pray with their eyes open and their hands lifted palm ward. Share answers to prayer.

Read with them.

They believe in the Books of Moses, the Psalms (the Book of David) and the Gospels although they do not read them. They may argue that these books have been changed but do not let this become an argument; rather, invite them to read through one of the Gospels with you.

So, draw your Muslim friends into your home and into a trusting friendship. Learn to listen without arguing and learn how to respond or challenge in a more indirect way by using stories and object lessons. Do not hesitate to speak of your own faith and your own walk with the Lord and pray with your friends often. When that friendship has been well established then challenge them to read one of the Gospels, or better still, read it with them.


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