Should Christians Visit Mosques?
To visit a mosque as a Christian is quite controversial. Some Christians would vote against the idea, claiming that a mosque is not a place where Jesus’ name is glorified. Right they are, indeed. But is it not a place where there are people created in the image of God who are in need of the Lord’s salvation? Is bringing God’s presence not a good enough reason for Christians to visit a mosque? An Open Doors worker shared his experience visiting one:
Last week, I went to a mosque to participate in a funeral for the father of one of my Muslim friends. My heart and soul were blown away by the atmosphere, absence of hope and gloominess of the situation. I knew it would not be easy, but I wanted to get as close as possible to my countrymen.
When I heard the sad news of the death of my friend’s father, I sincerely wanted to show my condolences to the family and give them my support; however, I had mixed feelings about whether or not I should go to the mosque and attend the funeral. I had never attended a funeral in a mosque before. In the past, I’ve engaged in arguments and debates with both Egyptian and non-Egyptian Christians about if it is okay for a Christian to enter a mosque and be there while Muslims are praying. I have heard many different opinions, some of which were very negative about the idea, while others were milder in their views. I specifically recall an argument I once had with a visiting pastor. I had offered to take him and his group to visit a mosque to pray and intercede for Muslims. I was surprised by his defensive position against the idea. In a sharp tone, he told me, “The mosque is NOT the place where people worship the true God. The name of Jesus is not glorified there. For this reason, we Christians should never enter a mosque.”
“But what about the people?” I asked. “The mosque is full of people who were created in the image of God. He loves them and Jesus died for them as he did for you and me.” Is that not good enough reason for Christians to be a presence among Muslims in a mosque?
One day, I went to the mosque to pray for Muslims so they might find the way to the true God. I went to pray for them to see the light of Jesus in the middle of the dark hopelessness in which they live. I went to pray that the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, would change their hearts and their minds in Christ Jesus. I went to the mosque because I wanted to be free from my reluctance and hesitation to show love and compassion to Muslims. I wanted to bring the spirit of love and forgiveness to the very place where people learn how to hate, attack and even kill Christians all while thinking they are doing the will of “Allah”. I went to the mosque to remind myself that I’m called to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth.
I went to the mosque, bringing with me Brother Andrew’s abbreviated version of the word ‘Islam’: (I)- I, (S)- sincerely, (L)- love, (A)- all, (M)- Muslims.
This bold believer reminds us to not be shaped by culture, but by the desire to see others, regardless of their beliefs or backgrounds, come to faith in Jesus. May we be ever more courageous and extend our faith in Him to those around us that may be walking in desperate darkness.