/Tuesday, September 3, 2019
Jesus said "The most important [commandment] is, 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:29-31)
Muslims in Canada
The first mosque in Canada was built in Edmonton in 1938--it's estimated that there were about 700 Muslims in Canada at that time. Today there are around 650 mosques across Canada, serving the approximately 1.7 million Muslims who call Canada home. The chart below shows the demographic change since 1981 when the Canadian government first began tracking religious affiliation.
A Biblical Grid to Understand our Canadian Context
In Acts 17:24-27, Paul, addressing the crowd at the Aeropagus in Athens 2000 years ago, gave us a grid for understanding our Canadian context:
"The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us…" (emphasis added)
God is allowing global migration to bring people who have never had a chance to really consider the claims that Jesus Christ makes about himself, into situations where they can question and consider--accompanied in friendship by those of us who love Jesus and want to obey his command to love our neighbours.
Loving through Prayer
Perhaps the most loving thing we can do for our Muslim neighbours and coworkers is to pray for them. Perhaps the most loving thing a church community can do for a mosque community is to pray for them. One of the visions of the Loving Muslims Together network across Canada, is that every Muslim would have a Christian friend praying for them, and every mosque would have a church or two praying for their community to experience the blessing of Jesus Christ in their midst.
Would you join the movement?
Go to www.lovingmuslimstogether.outreach.ca/pray to learn more about praying for your Muslim neighbours.
Go to www.lovingmuslimstogether.outreach.ca/mosque to indicate your church's commitment to pray for the mosque community near you, and receive monthly prayer resources.