Blue Flower

Australian  Prayer  Network  Newsletter

This is an abridged version of the International News prepared before editorial staff left for overseas.   The full version of International News will return on Monday 24th August 2015.

WITH SO MANY MUSLIMS COMING TO CHRIST WILL ISLAM FALL?

The headlines say Islam is going to be the largest religion in the world. But Islam is facing a crisis. The terrible deeds of ISIS, done in the name of Allah and following the violent example of Muhammed, have horrified Muslims who are now questioning their faith. Missionaries to the Islamic world say more Muslims have converted to Christianity in the last 14 years (since 9/11) than during the entire 14 centuries of Islamic history. Many keep their conversion a secret, afraid for their lives. In London, CBN News talked to Imram (no last name given to protect his identity), a British college student from a Pakistani immigrant family. Imram left Islam after a lengthy study convinced him the Koran could not be true. Leaving Islam can be a tough road.

"If someone leaves Islam and becomes an apostate, he is thrown out of his family; his family will be the first ones to abandon him," Imran explained. "His friends will reject him and he will be killed or he will be persecuted. A lot of my friends said, 'This is the last time I'm talking to you because you disrespected the prophet Mohammed, you disrespected Islam.'" Imran has not yet become a Christian, but has studied the Bible and says Christianity is superior to Islam. Some ex-Muslims become atheists. But some discover a God who loves. In Sweden, Pastor Fouad Rasho of Angered Alliance Church, himself an immigrant from Syria, has baptized more than 100 ex-Muslims. He said because of ISIS, many Muslims are coming to Christ. 

"Every week I meet one or more persons who come to me and want to know more about Christianity and the Bible because they are very angry about being a Muslim. They don't want to remain Muslim," Imran said. When it comes to religion, Europe has become the new "Dark Continent." And some European Muslims feel trapped between atheism and radical Islam, but some find hope in Christianity. When Nassim Ben Iman came with his parents to Germany as immigrants from a Muslim nation, he remembers thinking that if Germany is a Christian nation, then Christianity is a dead, sinful religion. "So nakedness on the television is because of the Christian religion. Living together not married is because of the Christian religion," Nassim recalled thinking. 

But then Nassim discovered real Christianity and is today an evangelist reaching Muslims and non-Muslims for Christ. "When the people understand who Jesus is, they will love Him and follow Him more and more. And when the Muslims understand more and more what Mohammed is, what the Koran is, what the history is, then they will go farther and farther away from Islam," he said. The host of an important Christian program reaching Muslims told CBN News, "Islam is going to collapse." Brother Rachid is the son of a Moroccan imam who lived as a secret Christian convert for 15 years. Now he hosts an Arabic language Christian program called "Daring Questions" that challenges Muslims to question their faith.

"Many Muslims are saying, 'If ISIS is Islam, I'm leaving.' Some are becoming atheists," Brother Rachid said. "There is a huge wave of atheism in the Arab world  now and many are turning to Christ. Islam was never faced with this crisis before." Nassim said Islam appears strong, but it is only feeding off the spiritual void in weak Christian nations. "The greatest power of Islam is the weakness of the Christians," he said. "That's what happened in Germany and in America and all the Western countries." While it seems Islam seems poised to overtake the West, Brother Rachid says Christians should not fear Islam, a faith he is convinced is slowly dying. "I think people are afraid because of what they see on the news. But even violence is just a sign of collapse" he said.

Source: CBN News

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CHURCH OF ENGLAND IN DECLINE: ISLAM THE FASTEST GROWING RELIGION IN THE U.K.

The Church of England has lost nearly two million followers in the last two years and is on the brink of "extinction", it has been warned. The number of people in the U.K. who describe their beliefs as being Church of England or Anglican dropped from 21 per cent to 17 per cent between 2012 and 2014- a loss of around 1.7 million followers. The number of Anglicans in Britain is now thought to stand at around 8.6 million. The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, has warned that unless urgent action is taken, the organisation is just “one generation away from extinction.” The figures have been revealed as part of the NatCen’s British Social Attitudes Survey, the U.K.’s longest running poll of public opinion. 

Over the same period, the poll found that the number of Muslims in Britain grew by close to a million making it the fastest growing religion in the U.K. 4.7 per cent of Britons now describe themselves as Muslim, amounting to 2.4 million. When asked about their religious belief, the survey found that the most common response was having no religion. 49 per cent of people do not describe themselves has having any belief. Peter Brierley, a former Government statistician who advises religious groups, said of the new figures: “It is very serious for the Church of England and they know it.” “The problem is that it has a lot of elderly members, but when they die off there aren’t enough younger people to replace them.” 

Naomi Jones, Head of Social Attitudes at NatCen, said of the figures: “The proportion of people saying that they are Anglican has fallen quite dramatically in the last ten years, coinciding with a rise in people saying they are not religious.” "Another explanation could be that in the past religion played a more prominent role in people's identity. We know from recent NatCen research that people are less likely than in previous years to see being Christian as an important component of being British. Therefore, fewer British people may feel that the Church of England is an important part of their identity nowadays."

Source: The Independent

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