War-Weary Refugees Finding Christ
Jan 07, 2007
A friend emailed this report to me recently. It occurred to me back in the year 2000 that we would probably begin to see Muslims becoming disillusioned with Islam, because of the violence that they have experienced at the hands of other Muslims. Certainly, the sectarian violence raging today in Iraq between the Sunni and Shia Muslims must reveal to many of them that something is drastically wrong.
Many refugees are fleeing to Norway, where a Church has been reaching out to them--not to offer them an alternate RELIGION, but to show them the love of Christ. Here is the report:
Norway Church Becomes Hot Spot for Spiritually Hungry Muslims
Roughly 500 Muslims have been baptized through the ministry of a 15-member Norway congregation known as The Wellspring Church. Many of the converts to Christianity have sought refuge in Norway from violence in Middle Eastern nations such as Afghanistan. Based in Aal, located about four hours from the capital, Oslo,Wellspring employs full-time Iranian evangelist Daniel Marandis, who said many Muslims are hurting and desire prayer from Christians.
“We try to reach the refugees when they first arrive in the capital, before they are scattered all over the country,” said Marandis, who is based in Oslo. “We invite them to our Disco Church, [where visitors can experience] cultural events with lots of ethnic foods, dancing to Middle East pop and prayer,” he said.
Wellspring pastor Helge Svanaasen said it is common for the Muslims who visit his church to encounter the Holy Spirit, a key reason that many of them come to salvation. Marandis added that many Muslims have fallen under the power of the Holy Spirit and received revelation while visiting the church. “They realized that the Holy Spirit does not go together with Islam,” he said. “Helge is not baptizing them into his church. People are not interested in changing religions. They are interested in God.”
Arabs Come to Christ in Jerusalem
The Middle East is notorious for being hostile to the gospel. But evangelist Elias Malki says several people accepted Christ and many were healed during a two-night crusade he led in Jerusalem in late November.
"I have never experienced such a meeting,” said Malki, who has visited Jerusalem more than 50 times. “The people were so hungry for God. I just put my hand on them and they were getting healed. Their faith was so strong. To God be all the glory.” On both nights 300 people packed into a church that seats 150. One woman who attended the first night said she was healed of rheumatoid arthritis in both of her legs and her right arm. She said she could lift her arms and legs with no pain.
Another woman said she was healed of diabetes on the last night of the crusade. “This is history in the making,” Malki said. “In the old walls of Jerusalem, this is the beginning of something that is going to happen here.” Malki has helped pioneer Christian television in the Middle East. His Good Newstalk-and-prayer program, which is broadcast entirely in Arabic, celebrates its 10-year anniversary on satellite this year.
Dr. Stephen Jones