Perils in the Modern Mission Fields

Syrian Christians Forced to Sign Treaty of Submission to Islamists

When the Good News Must Pay for Protection

 

By Harry M. Covert

The melodious four-part harmony Christian song, “I’m on the battlefield for my Lord,” rang to the rafters. It was so uplifting the young college men’s quartet sang it again.

In the years since this music has encouraged young and old alike to realize world missions is the duty of all professing Christians and churches of all denominations. The musicians were called the “Mission-aires.”

The song is not an anthem for followers to use physical force and all available methods to find recruits and proselitize. The Scripture is quite clear to “Go tell” the story of Jesus, report the good news, forgive and forget and, this is a hard one, be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving.”

The other side of the coin provides a different story no matter what some alleged enlightened non-Christians believe and demand.

Some 30 years after hearing the “Mission-Aires” sing and talk about “mission-fields” a young group of collegians organized food distribution in Omdurman, historic city near the The Sudan’s capital Khartoum.

They were joined by older English Anglican workers, Roman Catholic nuns, Baptist collegians, and later Methodist and other protestant Christians.

More than 500 mothers, many with infants in their arms, were receiving food packages, enough family food for a week, when a dozen (by actual count) young Sudanese men came on the scene, yelling, screaming and striking them with sticks and canes. A police station a 100-yards away offered help after a few recipients were hurt.

The bullies, the Muslim Brotherhood, ordered the mothers “not to take the food” because the donors were not Sudanese but foreigners.

Several weeks later, the fresh-faced collegians were visiting the coastal city of Port Sudan and local markets. Without permission, the students began singing pleasant songs and drew a crowd before being chased away. One young boy, who said he was sixteen, clearly asked, “Will your Jesus love me?” Naturally they went to talk with him and discovered his right hand missing.

The boy’s crime was stealing food and for his family.

The excitment of missions wanes somewhat when young and motivated young Christians lead with their hearts and souls.

Learning About the Jizya and dhimma Or Else

Today, missions throughout African countries with predominant Islamist lifestyles is dangerous.

A recent story piqued my interest in Virtue on Line, and was a clear reminder of perils of Christian missionaries and workers. The headine was “Syrian Christians sign treaty of submission to Islamists.”

It is terrifying and eye-opening that so many denominations, educators and public-spirited people don’t realize and don’t want to talk about the hazards of dealing with Islamists and especially those who want to include Shari’a law in the American culture.

Elhanan Miller wrote in The Times of Israel just how Christians must live in an Islamic society. In the Syrian city of Raqqa some 20 Christian leaders were captured by Islamic terrorists and forced to signed a submission document, banning them from practicing in public in return for protection.

The Christians had three choices, convert to Islam; remain Christian but pledge submssion to Islam; or “face the sword.” Not suprising, they all agreed to submit.

They will have to pay a tax known as jizya in return for the Muslim ruler’s protection, known as dhimma.

So American Christians popularly sing “I’m on the Battlefield for my Lord” and go about their lives raising families, serving a loving God. If they live outside of the United States they must always be looking over their shoulders, living in fear.

Believers want to trust in and see goodness in everybody. Unfortunately in today’s world Peter’s admonition is to the point and true:  “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”

Americans too are so eager to welcome perhaps the fastest growing religion into society thinking the Islamists are similar to those denominations of the Judeo-Christian ethic. They aren’t, no matter how it’s explained. The easiest way to understand the growing religious invasion is to visit a predominantly Muslim culture.

Working with Arabists it is not unusual to hear the word In sha’Allah, the meaning being “God willing” or “if Allah wills.”

Serving the mission fields around the world are vital. Helping, educating and feeding hungry people is a blessing to the giver and recipient. The nation was founded on freedom of religion, it was not founded on Judeo, Christian and Islamic ethics. This will not be popular In this modern day of efforts to destroy history and tradition. Be aware of wolves in sheep’s clothing. Copyright ©2014 Harry M. Covert

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This article is published in www.virtueonline.org, Voice For Global Orthodox Anglicanism.