Dealing with Jihadist Fear Syndrome

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Gun sales are way up.

More and more, people say they are afraid to fly.

It seems ISIS is a giant like Goliath and the world’s governments tremble.

The people of the world are not sure what to make of radical Islamic terrorism. While there may be many sympathizers/supporters, the actual terrorist movement is very small. But the more victories they appear to have, the larger influence they seem to get.

Now I am neither a political pundit nor a geopolitical genius. (There was a time when I wanted to be!) Even so, I do believe I could come up with a more nuanced plan than “ban all Muslims.”

My family and I lived in Colombia, South America for many years. Terrorists there were not radical Islamists, but members of drug cartels. As Americans, we were prime targets for kidnapping. It was a part of life to find solutions for personal peace and to help people who were victims of a vicious war drug war. Many people we knew lost family members to terrorism. The present onslaught of terrorism is very real to me, and it’s my desire is to share what I have learned from it.

I have a question for Christians: What should followers of Jesus do to avoid fear and phobias about Muslims in general and ISIS in particular?

Let me offer these suggestions for dealing with the fear of ISIS:

PRAY

  • For the salvation of terrorists and Muslims who believe Jihad is the will of Allah.
  • For safety for those who live in areas of conflict and for our own safety.
  • For Christians living in countries controlled or influenced by ISIS.
  • For wise leaders who can be decisive.

PREPARE

  • Be aware of what is going on around you and have a plan for communicating what you see.
  • Encourage people to have a plan, including how to have peace in your heart in the most challenging circumstances.
  • Live life without fear. Fear is a tool of extremists. Help those who live in your world to deal with fear.

Sharing life with the Muslims who live around you is important and can be done. Here are some suggestions:

PREPARE

  • Study the Koran and read books about the different sects under the umbrella of Islam.
  • Know your history. There have been centuries when Muslims treated Jews better than Christians did.
  • Don’t be shocked if your Muslim friends know about Jesus or Christianity. Tell them of your Muslim studies and ask them if they would be interested in learning about the Bible

ACT

  • Love your Muslim neighbors and go out of your way to make friends.
  • Pray for them and encourage them by praying for them openly when someone is sick, etc.
  • Help those who have come to believe that Jesus is more than a prophet.
  • Be friendly. Listen to Muslims and understand them.

We have a church that is open to all. That means that we invite everyone and everyone is welcome to come and see how we worship or worship with us.

What would you do if a Muslim in full conservative Muslim dress walked into our church and wanted to know more about our beliefs? My hope would be that you would welcome them with love and friendship and invite them into your home so that you could know them better.

 

 

 

 

Written by Dan Harder

Dan Harder is the missions pastor at Green Hills Church. For years, Dan and his wife, Alice, served as missionaries in Bogota, Colombia, before returning to the States to serve on a church staff in the Chicago area. Since they retired, they moved to Nashville to be near family. Dan is passionate about sharing the love of Christ with a hurting world.