Saturday, February 14, 2009

'Project Isa' to Christianize Asia Muslims

CAIRO — A neo-evangelical missionary organization is seeking to spread Christianity among Asian Muslims through radio programs playing on Muslims' love and respect for Jesus Christ.

"We're asking God's people to pray and cover us as we seek to bring the love of Jesus to the Muslim world," Gregg Harris, president of the Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC), was quoted as saying by the Mission Network News (MNN) on Thursday, February 12.

"FEBC has broadcast in the Muslim world for many years, and we've found that when Muslims hear about God's love, they're eager to know more."

The FEBC, which airs Christian programs across the world in more than 150 languages, has launched a long-term plan to minister to Muslims internationally.

The missionary program, Project Isa, will target Muslims in Indonesia, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, who make up nearly half of the world's Muslim population.

FEBC is already in the finishing stages of its first Project Isa station in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country.

It will also target Muslim-majority Kazakhstan.

"Many people believe that Kazakhstan is going to be the key influencer of the religious climate in central Asia."

The FEBC is an international Christian radio network with broadcasts aired from transmitters located throughout the world.

It was founded in 1945 by two World War II veteran soldiers with the aim of creating a ministry that would bring the Gospel to millions of people in Asia.

* Project Isa

FEBC officials say the choice of the "Project Isa" name came after thorough research and study.

"Jesus isn't a stranger to Muslims," the organization says on its website.

Muslims believe in Jesus as one of the great Prophets of God and that he is the son of Mary but not the Son of God. He was conceived and born miraculously.

In the Noble Qur’an, Jesus is called "Isa". He is also known as Al-Masih (the Christ) and Ibn Maryam (Son of Mary).

As for his crucifixion, Muslims believe that Jesus was not crucified but was lifted up to heaven.

The FEBC believes that using the name of Jesus as in the Noble Qur'an would be the best way to lure Muslims.

"We are fortunate enough to say to them, 'Hey, here's the one true God and His Son Jesus Christ. You can know Him,'" said Harris, its director.

Evangelization by Pentecostal and evangelical missionaries, traditionally eyeing troubled and disaster-stricken Muslim areas, has long angered Muslims.

The Church of England's General Synod, meeting in London on Wednesday, overwhelmingly backed a motion asking bishops to "go forth and evangelize."

"Every person in my mind is a potential convert," said the Rev Nezlin Sterling.

Last October, Gordon Showell-Rogers, the General Secretary of the European Evangelical Alliance (EEA), called for proselytizing Muslims across Europe, considering Muslim immigration into the continent an "evangelistic opportunity."

Source : Islamonline
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