[notice]DIANNE STEVEN reports back on her recent mission trip in Zambia. [/notice]
While in Chipata (a town on the Zambia / Malawi border), on mission with “Bibles for the Nations” I saw one of the biggest mosques I have ever seen, and was informed by local missionaries and pastors that Muslims are infiltrating Zambia from the east and Chipata is now the Muslim capital of Zambia. Most of the businesses in this area are growing and are Muslim-owned and run.
Zambia is officially a Christian Nation. The people of Zambia acknowledge the supremacy of God the Almighty and declare the Republic of Zambia a Christian nation, while upholding the rights of every person to enjoy that person’s freedom of conscience or religion.
But as mosques appear noticeably across Zambia we should be asking – “What do we need to know about Islam, before it’s too late?”
During conversations with the local believers I was informed that, “the Muslims are quiet and peaceful at present as they respect that Zambia is a Christian country, but things will change as Muslims get into key government posts, then the persecution of the Christians will start as is happening in other countries further north in Africa”.
I didn’t find Christians prepared for standing firm for Jesus in Zambia. Many Christians are not aware of the full implications of the rise of Islam. According to reports from Africa Christian Action there are approximately 11.5 million Christians living in Zambia and Zambia shares her border with eight other Countries. Therefore it is in a very strategic place to be a missionary sending country. The statistics seem positive, yet instead of being a Christian nation focused on being a blessing to Africa, Zambia has more missionaries going into the country than going out. The question needs to be asked, why? What needs to be done about it?
Islam’s radical vision of a world under the political and religious authority of Allah and his followers makes it the greatest non-Christian religious power in the modern world. Islam’s extension of power is aimed at establishing a comprehensive Islamic ideology in the entire world. At its core it is religious, but this ideology embraces the entire culture of a people as it also constitutes Islamic political, social and educational institutions, as well as Islamic morality and law. To the Muslim there is no “secular” realm where he is free from Islam. Islam is a total way of life, not just a religion. Islam regulates every aspect of life, to the point that culture, religion and politics are practically inseparable.
Jack Kelley of “Gracethrufaith”, said in an article, “Islam and the End Times”, that, “It’s becoming clear that Muslims are increasing in number faster than any other religious group in the world. According to some statistics their current growth is four times faster than that of Christians. According to a survey in 2009 by “The Pew Forum” on Religion and Public Life, those who practice Islam now make up nearly one fourth of the world’s population at 1.57 billion members, second only to Christianity.”
“Today there are more Muslims in Germany than there are in Lebanon. Following the rapture of the Church, Islam will be the most populous religious system on earth by a wide margin” stated Kelley.
What is the future for Christians in Zambia, or South Africa for that matter? According to The Telegraph (UK) dated May 16, 2013 Christianity in Britain is declining 50% faster than thought – as one in 10 under-25s is a Muslim.
“Bibles for the Nations” traveled approximately 9 500 kms to take subsidised Bibles into Zambia via Botswana and the Caprivi Strip, used R17 000 of diesel, distributed 7 200 Bibles and 20 000 tracts, plus numerous Christian books in order to assist believers there.
Zambia is known as a “Christian” country but Bibles are difficult to obtain for the man in the street, and extremely expensive. The starting price for an ordinary, basic Bible is on average R100, and sometimes even R150. So “Bibles for the Nations” takes subsidised Bibles into the country to assist the people who are struggling to obtain one. Placing a Bible in the hands of the Zambian Christians and strengthening them through accurate Biblical teaching to stand strong in times of persecution, and even martyrdom, is vitally important, not only for their salvation but for their witness to others.