asylum seeker

God is moving among Muslims


God is moving among Muslims

This is a real-life story of recent events from one of the local Mahabba groups in the Network. Names and details have been deliberately removed to protect the identity of those involved, but praise God - he is working in the lives of Muslims to reveal Jesus!

He is moving

I was delighted to be invited to the birthday party.

Oz was a Syrian asylum seeker. I met him just at the time his application was accepted and he promptly moved away with his family into a big city

In our small town he had found Christian friends and even attended some church events. I visited him in his new home.

On the one hand it was gloriously multicultural and on the other hand it was not a nice neighbourhood. I knew it, he knew it.

I put him in touch with a nearby Christian bookshop which I understood to be run by a Pakistani believer and was pleased to hear later that he had visited it.

Then came the invitation for his two year old’s birthday party. It was quite an event. And the bookshop manager had been invited too.

He was not a Pakistani at all but fellow Syrian, young in the faith and keen as mustard. That was more than I had asked or thought.

Then came the news that Oz had found a better place to live and was moving out to a suburb. I was glad that his family had a nicer home, but could I put him in touch with local Christian friends?

I spoke to the bookshop man:

Oz is moving. This is his new address.

The bookshop man said:

Really? I live just round the corner from him!

Wow. God is on his case. Hallelujah!


Your turn

Have you been touched by this story? If so, you can play your part.

  • Share the amazing news of God moving among Muslim with your friends via e-mail or social media, using the links below
  • Support Mahabba in its work to equip everyday Christians to build relationships and share Jesus with Muslims

Elliot's weekly roundup: cancer, eradication and refugee hunting

image credit: flickr cranky messiah

A Ukip parliamentary candidate has described Islam as a "cancer" as well has praising  the founder of the English Defence League. Ms Santos later said,

“It was a turn of phrase, I’m not referring to a quarter of the world’s population any more than I meant the word ‘cancer’ to be taken literally.”

A Labour candidate has been sacked for reportedly making a number of comments about Islam.

Mr Merralls also allegedly engaged in conversation where he reportedly posted: “On a positive note that should eradicate islam from our continent for years”.

Further afield in Germany physical violence has taken over from verbal aggression. The article highlights the rise of  " vigilante mobs" that hunt down refugees.  According to the article four men set upon a refugee in his car with a baseball bat and knuckle duster. They also beat him when he was on teh ground and trying to escape. Nine days later the man died of his injuries including a fractured skull. His two children are traumatised by the death of their father.

The family’s lawyer, Christina Dissmann, said his wife “cannot comprehend how the perpetrators could continue attacking him when he was already lying on the ground…again and again they went after him and beat him”.

Reading the article reminded me of the violent attack in April on teenage asylum seeker Reker Ahmed in Croydon. These events are the very opposite of what we as Jesus followers stand for and seek to demonstrate. We have a choice how to relate to those around us. 

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
— James 3 v 17-18

Elliot's weekly round up: The Sheep and The Goat

Image: CC Pop H,  Flickr

Image: CC Pop H, Flickr

Last Friday Reker Ahmed, a 17 year old Kurdish Iranian student, was waiting at a bus stop in Croydon south London.  What happened to him next has been given much media attention.

he thought he was going to die

He was subjected to an unprovoked attack by up to thirty people. As a result Reker has suffered a fractured eye socket, a fractured spine and a blood clot on the brain. He was unable to recognise his brother when he visited him in London's Kings College Hospital.  Iraqi Kurds have condemned the attack. We can join with them in expressing our sympathy.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr Rekan Ahmed and we wish him a speedy recovery,”

Rather than being seen as an isolated event this attack can be seen as a part of a sustained increase in hate crime. As a result of the attack a number of people aged between 15 and 22 have been charged. Police are still investigating, there is an increased police presence on the streets surrounding the area.  In response to the attacks anti racist graffiti has appeared in the area.

I wonder if anti racist graffiti is enough?  The fact that this attack was launched from a pub named  The Goat reminds me of the passage in Matthew where the nations are separated as shepherds separate sheep and goats. 

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was ill and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
— Matthew 25

Giving money is a start, as over two and a half thousand people have done on a just giving page for Reker Ahmed, but the passage in Matthew goes beyond that to get involved practically. Even if we don't know any asylum seekers personally we can champion their cause, speak on their behalf. And if we do count asylum speakers as friends we can share Jesus with them in practical ways. I'll leave you with a strong challenge that might apply to welcoming asylum seekers too.

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
— James 2

New Testaments & Gospels in other languages suitable for refugees and asylum seekers

Image: Raul Petri,  Unsplash

Image: Raul Petri, Unsplash

Info on new testaments & gospels in other languages suitable for refugees and asylum seekers

Do you have any info on New Testaments & Gospels in other languages suitable for refugees and asylum seekers?

Mahabba Gloucester has created a helpful sheet!

N.B. prices are subject to change and are correct as of the time of publication of this blog.

1. Amazon

  • Arabic/English New Testament, £2.80 (£3.27 plus postage)
  • Biblica are holders of the NIV copyright
  • NIV Luke’s Gospel £0.50 (and free shipping for orders of over £10.00)

2. Operation Mobilisation (OM)

  • Store in Halesowen
  • Telephone 0121-5855662 - Cecil Benjamin knows about Asian languages best
  • Large stock with English/Urdu Luke's Gospels in packs of 100

3. The Bible Society

  • Based in Swindon, telephone 01793 418100
  • Urdu New Testament £1.25
  • Bengali New Testament £8.40
  • Punjabi New Testament £8.05
  • English/Russian £19.00
  • English/Arabic £5.00
  • English/Chinese £5.00
  • English/Spanish £7.00

4. Kitab

  • Andrew Howell, telephone 01908 552714
  • New Testaments or Gospels in other languages
  • Luke in Arabic £0.85
  • Diglot New Testament in Arabic £6.50
  • Luke in Gujarati

5. The Bible Society

  • Northern Ireland, 028 9032 6577
  • Bi-lingual New Testaments: English/Arabic, English /Chinese, English/Hungarian, English/Polish and English/Spanish

6. Gospel Publishing Mission

  • Is God really my Father? English/Arabic and pictures for use in teaching, £4.50
  • N.B. check pictures for suitability

7. Bible websites with foreign languages

Elliot's Weekly Roundup: statistics, something to pray about & is love in the air?

Image: Laura Ockel,  Unsplash

Image: Laura Ockel, Unsplash

In the media this week: statistics, something to pray about and is love in the air?

Islam is the only religion growing faster than the world’s population and it will be the largest in the world by 2070, researchers have found.

The article also includes information about European attitudes towards Muslims. Reading this could be seen as overwhelming.  But let's make a choice not be overwhelmed by numbers and statics. Instead lets take the increasing opportunities that present themselves to share Jesus to those around us.  Even though the report states that attitudes to Muslims are not so negative in the UK there is still much room for us to model good relations and to help to shape attitudes positively.

Majorities in Hungary, Italy, Poland,and Greece say they view Muslims unfavourably, while negative attitudes towards Muslims are much less common in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and elsewhere in Northern and Western Europe.

Meanwhile a new project has been started by four newspapers in Europe documenting conditions experienced by refugees and asylum seekers.  It states that Britain is one of the worst destinations for people seeking asylum in Western Europe. The following video clip shows the desperate reality of asylum seekers- many of whom are Muslim.  The question that it left me thinking about is how can I respond as an individual/ as a family/as part of a church/ as a British citizen.  Come on let's help make this place more welcoming!

The UN is warning that thousands of Rohingya children are suffering as "indirect victims" of the crackdown against suspected militants in Burma. Let's continue to pray for a change in this situation.

There is going to be a new TV programme on Channel 4 starting on Thursday. The first programme follows young men and women as they attempt to find spouses with the help of family, dating sited and the mosque marriage bureau.  It is set in Birmingham where:

...a baby boy is more likely to be called Mohammed than any other name...

The second programme deals with growing up as a young Muslim in the shadow of the news.  The third programme is about the rules of Islam and how they are interpreted.

In an insightful article, the creator of the show explained how the programme was made as a response to her daughter asking: "Mummy, what's a terrorist?"  She states the challenge of growing up as a Muslim in a post 9/11 world. " We grew up with Rosie and Jim, they are growing up with Jihadi John." 

...we did want to put ourselves in a Muslim community and explore and record the day to day lives and experiences of ordinary Muslims in the UK.

 I think I'll watch it. Pray.  Then use the insight gained from the programme in my interactions with my Muslim friends. Why don't you do the same. Let me know how you get on!