(From the BBC) What started with two people burning a Quran has erupted into riots and clashes with the Swedish police where more than 40 people have been arrested. According to the BBC, the violence was sparked by a series of rallies organized by the Danish-Swedish politician Rasmus Paludan. He boasted that he has burned a copy of Islam’s holy book and wants to do so again. In the latest instance a Muslim background believer (MBB) who had immigrated to Sweden from a Muslim nation, also burned a copy of the Quran. The Quran is the the Holy Book of Muslims everywhere, and they consider to be the sacred word of God. Any intentional damage or show of disrespect towards it is considered deeply offensive. Sweden has raised its’ threat level from 3 to 4 on a scale of 5, and there is now a strong possibility of a major attack on the nation. Please pray for the protection of the people in Sweden, both Muslim and Christian.
Part of the issue in Sweden is the national right to free speech and expression which has been a law dating back to 1766. Sweden also scrapped its blasphemy laws in the 1970’s. Both of these laws conflict with the Islamic view of protection of the Quran.
Still the reaction has been international and worldwide as nations like Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran have had their Swedish embassies stormed and staff forced to leave. In Sweden, people have been killed, policemen injured, and, perhaps, even worse, brought renewed persecution of Christians in majority – Muslim nations like Pakistan. Today, The Waiting World, was contacted by a pastor friend in Pakistan who asked for urgent prayer for Christians in his country as Christians are being physically assaulted and churches are being burned. As of this writing, it is unclear whether this stemmed from the Quran burnings in Sweden or not. Two Pakistani Muslims claimed they saw two Christians burning the Quran. Police have sworn to arrest the perpetrators.
The answer to all of this, of course, is two – fold: first, we know that peace and forgiveness are found only in Jesus Christ; second, the way to reach Muslims for Christ does not start by burning their Holy Book or other Islamic books! You can learn more about reaching out to Muslims in a respectful manner through the Crescent Project at https://www.crescentproject.org/ and attending their free Hope Conference online on September 13.
And, in case you haven’t seen it, here is a short overview of Islam from The Waiting World, thewaitingworld.net