For many Muslims around the world, government and social restrictions make accessing the gospel nearly impossible. In these “closed countries,” Christian workers must be both creative and careful in how they share the gospel message with their Muslim neighbors.
Increased Internet access, however, has created a new avenue for Muslims to gain access to the teachings of Jesus: through the smart phones in their pockets. Now, through digital media, Christian ministry workers can engage large Muslim audiences with the gospel, and the interactive networks like Facebook give users the platform to ask questions and receive personal responses.
Dave and Janet* are TEAM workers who see fruit from this ministry every day. In 2013, after serving more than 20 years in the Muslim world, Dave and Janet were denied visas to return overseas. Instead, God led them to team up with a handful of others to create and manage a media ministry from the United States. Their team operates an entire portfolio of digital channels, including a 24/7 satellite-television channel, a website, apps and social media accounts — all encouraging Muslims to consider the gospel in their own language.
The results have been stunning.
“When we lived overseas, we were thrilled to sell 5,000 DVDs with a Christian message in a year,” writes Janet. “Now, it’s not unusual for one of our Facebook posts to be seen by half a million people in the region, and sometimes far more. One in ten people typically respond by liking or sharing the post, and one in a thousand makes a comment.
“On one of our recent posts, we dared to ask, ‘Can God deceive?’ and referred to a verse of the Quran that implies God is the greatest of deceivers. Suddenly people were talking!
“We fielded over 1,350 comments in three days. ‘No, never! How can you say such a thing?’ and ‘Curses on you!’ they wrote.
“Our response team patiently challenged them to reconsider the authority of the book they hold in such reverence. One Muslim addressed the others and said, ‘Wait a minute. It’s easy to curse and swear about this, but we need to think seriously and answer his question.’ Many meaningful conversations followed.”
Suneel*, a co-worker of Dave and Janet, recently used Facebook to post an offer for a free Bible to large audience. As the requests filtered in, Suneel discovered that he personally knew two of those who requested Bibles — one of his college professors (a devout Muslim) and the mosque leader from his old neighborhood. These men likely would have never approached Suneel in person with such a request, but the anonymity of the Internet made them feel safe to ask.
“Sometimes I think this is why God created the Internet,” Janet says. “Getting the good news to every corner of the earth has just gotten a little easier!”
*Names have been changed