As a former Muslim who worked for the US government and served in Afghanistan, I have spoken on dozens of Christian radio shows and podcasts to share my perspective on current events. Overwhelmingly, the most popular question is, "what is the best way to share the Gospel with Muslims"? Now that thousands of new Afghans have come to the US, I also receive emails from people who discover that many of those Afghans will be at the military bases near their homes, and they ask the same question. Here is my practical advice as someone miraculously redeemed by power of Christ after spending over two decades engrossed in the study and practice of Islam.
First and foremost, do not be ashamed of the Gospel. Wherever possible, Christians should host an open house either in a home or local church and invite the new refugees for a meal and a presentation on the basics of life in America. We are a predominately Christian nation, so it's perfectly reasonable to explain the fundamentals of Christianity in that presentation. To be clear, I am not suggesting an interfaith event where we find commonalities between Islam and Christianity worshipping one God. Quite the opposite. The ultimate goal is to point out the differences–how belief in the Lord Jesus Christ guarantees forgiveness of sins, eternal life, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who provides a personal relationship with God.
I often hear that Christians are afraid to share the truth of the Bible because they do not want to be offensive. However, sharing your personal and community beliefs is NOT inappropriate. We should feel compelled and inspired to tell Muslims how glorious it is to be saved and to worship a loving God that speaks directly to us, knowing their god can be cruel, vindictive, and most of all, absent. Pretending it is the same God does them a great disservice because it does not get them any closer to salvation. If it was the same god, why accept Jesus Christ as anything more than a prophet? You do not need to point out the distinctions. Focus on the Truth of our beliefs and let the Lord do the rest. Remember the story of Ananias and Saul [later, Paul] when Paul first encountered the Lord Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus. Ananias was afraid to approach him because he was notorious for persecuting the Christians, but the Lord said, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name…." You never know who the Lord predestined to receive salvation and will become a Spirit-filled believer. Be sure to include direct passages from the Bible because there is infinite power in the infallible Word of God.
Though the presenter does not have to be a pastor, whoever is doing the presentation should be knowledgeable enough to articulate the fundamentals of salvation and the Trinity, if challenged. One of the biggest hurdles for Muslims is the notion that Christians worship multiple gods. Therefore, it is important to emphasize we worship one God manifested in three persons, not three separate gods. I have discovered this is the second main reason why Christians do not share the Gospel; they feel intimidated about their knowledge. Nowadays, there are many credible resources online, including sermons and notable books that can guide any believer who has a heart for evangelism. With enough self-study, prayer, and dedication, all believers can equip themselves to fulfill the Great Commission. Keep in mind, "But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, "Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 1: 30-31.
Once you have chosen a location and a presenter, it is vital to designate a translator! Since many refugees worked with Americans, it should not be difficult to find one that can interpret for the rest. As I recounted in my last article, I have a dear friend that came to saving faith by being a translator for a local church. It is an excellent opportunity for that individual to have the power of the Gospel flow directly through them. Additionally, it would be wise to serve culturally sensitive food. Muslims do not eat pork, and most do not drink alcohol, so avoiding those items would be a welcomed sign of respect.
I also encourage those of you who may not have new Muslim refugees nearby to consider just inviting Muslim neighbors for tea as a way to get to know each other and share the Gospel. Simply ask them to share about their faith, and it opens the door for you to share yours. Again, it is not about finding similarities but about sharing the Truth.
I pray that watching the heart-wrenching tragedy of Christians left in Afghanistan does not harden our hearts towards these new immigrants. Many have fled the brutality of the Taliban, hoping for a better life here in America. Instead, let us unite in prayer, asking the Lord that for every one Christian who is harmed, thousands of Afghans will become soldiers of Christ.
Hedieh Mirahmadi was a devout Muslim for two decades working in the field of national security before she experienced the redemptive power of Jesus Christ and has a new passion for sharing the Gospel. She dedicates herself full-time to Resurrect Ministry, an online resource that harnesses the power of the Internet to make salvation through Christ available to people of all nations, and her daily podcast LivingFearlessDevotional.com.