MUSLIMS OUTPACING CHRISTIANS IN BIRTHS, PEW SAYS

By Diana Chandler
Baptist Press

The growing birth rate among Muslims will put the group’s population at nearly equal that of Christians globally by 2060, according to Pew Research. In this BP file photo, Muslims are praying at Jakarta's Masjid Istiqlal, the largest mosque in Southeast Asia.

The growing birth rate among Muslims will put the group’s population at nearly equal that of Christians globally by 2060, according to Pew Research. In this BP file photo, Muslims are praying at Jakarta’s Masjid Istiqlal, the largest mosque in Southeast Asia.

NASHVILLE (BP) — Muslims are so outpacing Christians in births that the two population groups will be nearly equal by 2060, with Christians holding only a slight majority, according to newly released Pew Research data.

An increase in Muslim births compounded by an aging Christian population will put the Muslim share of the global population at 31 percent by 2060, just under the 32 percent for Christians, Pew said in its April 5 report.

Muslim births are nearly double the overall growth rate of the global population, Pew said, characterizing Islam as the youngest major religious group with the highest fertility. Atheists, agnostics and adults who don’t specify a religion, together classified as “nones” by Pew, lag far behind both Muslims and Christians in reproduction. [Read more…]

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MUSLIMS DO BECOME CHRISTIANS, SAYS ARAB PASTOR

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Editor’s note: You can hear William Burton discuss ethnic ministries during Episode 4 of Radio B&R,the  official news podcast of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board.

Arabic and ethnic Baptist leaders in Tennessee pause during a leadership conference for Arabic Baptist churches in Middle Tennessee on Jan. 21 in Murfreesboro. From left are Maged Boles, pastor, Arabic Baptist Church, Murfreesboro; Anderow Shafik, member, Arabic Baptist Church of Tusculum Hills Baptist, Nashville; William Burton, ethnic evangelism/church planting specialist, Tennessee Baptist Mission Board; and Nathan Awad, pastor, Arabic Baptist Church of Tusculum Hills Baptist.

Arabic and ethnic Baptist leaders in Tennessee pause during a leadership conference for Arabic Baptist churches in Middle Tennessee on Jan. 21 in Murfreesboro. From left are Maged Boles, pastor, Arabic Baptist Church, Murfreesboro; Anderow Shafik, member, Arabic Baptist Church of Tusculum Hills Baptist, Nashville; William Burton, ethnic evangelism/church planting specialist, Tennessee Baptist Mission Board; and Nathan Awad, pastor, Arabic Baptist Church of Tusculum Hills Baptist.

MURFREESBORO — Muslims do become Christians, said Maged Boles, pastor of the Arabic Baptist Church here. He should know. He lived in Egypt all of his life until four years ago when he immigrated to the United States. Egypt has a majority of Muslim residents. Boles was a Christian missionary there.

William Burton, ethnic evangelism/church planting specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, agreed, noting this is occurring in Tennessee mainly because of Arab Baptists.

“These guys are very, very evangelistic,” said Burton. [Read more…]

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MOSQUE CASE PROMPTS IMB POLICY TWEAK

Baptist Press

mosque-dome-towerNASHVILLE — Ongoing discussion of a federal court case concerning religious liberty for Muslims has prompted the resignation of an International Mission Board trustee and a revision of the IMB’s process for submitting friend of the court briefs.

Dean Haun, pastor of First Baptist Church in Morristown, resigned from the IMB trustee board in November based on his conviction the IMB should not have joined a friend of the court brief last May supporting the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge, N.J., (ISBR) in its religious discrimination lawsuit against a local planning board. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission also joined the brief. [Read more…]

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TRYING TO EMPTY MOSQUES, NOT BUILD THEM

By Randy C. Davis
TBC Executive Director

Randy C. Davis

Randy C. Davis

Tennessee Baptists are about emptying mosques, not building them.

There are a few pseudo-news websites authored by bloggers who produce satirical “news” stories, and some of their recent stories state that the Southern Baptist Convention is building mosques. Those stories have gained traction through social media and people are assuming their truth. At least one of those stories states the Tennessee Baptist Convention is also building a mosque. As my pastor back home would say, “That’s a lie born in the pits of hell!”

And I want to set the record straight about this slanderous gossip. See story by Lonnie Wilkey.

Neither the Southern Baptist Convention nor the Tennessee Baptist Convention has ever built a mosque, and will never build a mosque. However, let me emphatically state that my prayer is that the gospel of Jesus Christ would sweep through the Muslim community in Tennessee and around the world and empty every mosque because those dear people have had an encounter with the Living God. Would it be that every mosque would become a house of worship lifting up the name of Isa — Jesus in Arabic. [Read more…]

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SBC NOT BUILDING MOSQUES, LEADERS REPORT

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Parody-not-everything-trueBRENTWOOD – Simply put, neither the Southern Baptist Convention nor the Tennessee Baptist Convention are building mosques.

Yet, the false rumor that Southern Baptists are building mosques is running rampant on social media, particularly Facebook. TBC staff have received multiple inquiries regarding the rumor which is based on an article written for The End Times website, a self-described “news satire and parody site.” The title of the article written by The End Times editor Scott Alan Buss was “Southern Baptist Convention Launches Mosque Building Program to Promote ‘Religious Liberty’ and ‘Niceness.’ ” Attempts to contact Buss were unsuccessful.

“Neither the convention nor any of its entities promotes building houses of worship for any other religious group,” according to Frank Page, president of the SBC Executive Committee in a statement provided to the Baptist and Reflector. [Read more…]

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KORAN LEADS MAN TO CHRIST (WELL, NOT EXACTLY)

Editor’s note: Due to safety concerns about the Muslim who accepted Christ and his family, the name of the author has been withheld.

Koran, mosque, lectern, shadowsAn Arabic-speaking Christian friend brought a new believer to meet me. The man, who I’ll call Alvey, was a former Muslim who wanted to be baptized. My friend thought it would be a good idea to make sure Alvey understood what it meant to become a follower of Jesus.

I listened to Alvey’s story and my interest was piqued when he talked about the shortcomings of the Koran. “I was raised a Muslim and came to the U.S. a long time ago. Because I drove a truck for a living, I listened to tapes of Islamic teaching. The more I listened, the more I questioned. There were so many holes in the teaching.” [Read more…]

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PRAYING FOR AN ISLAMIC SAUL

By David Evans
TBC Evangelism Specialist

David Evans

David Evans

We should be praying for the Islamic Saul to rise among their ranks.

Over the past few years there have been so many terrorist attacks, public bombings, and mass shootings. At the center of the majority of these events are groups like ISIS, ISIL, and Al Qaeda. Terrorist groups. Groups that have one reason for existence — world domination through fear, power, and death. As we watch media commentaries on such events we hear of many different solutions to the problems of terrorism. While the church listens to such solutions, the church has its own solution: prayer and sacrifice. With every organization considered the church is the only one that is tasked with the job of prayer and to be sacrificial. The church cannot afford to sit idly around waiting for another organization to save the day. The church must take the issue to our Eternal Father, pray specifically for a solution, and be ready to be sacrificial. [Read more…]

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ARABIC BAPTIST LEADER RAOUF GHATTAS DIES AT AGE 69

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

MURFREESBORO — Raouf W. Ghattas, a Tennessee Baptist pastor known for his work in reaching Muslims with the gospel, died Nov. 25 of an apparent heart attack at his home in Murfreesboro.

Raouf

Raouf W. Ghattas was noted for his love of Muslims and his desire to educate others about Islamic culture and how to share the gospel with Muslims.

Ghattas, 69, was pastor of Arabic Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, a congregation he helped establish in 2011 along with his wife, Carol.

Ghattas was born in Cairo, Egypt to an Evangelical Presbyterian family. He received a degree from Cairo University and immigrated to the United States in 1976. He worked for 12 years as a nuclear engineer. God called him to pastor the Arabic Mission of University Baptist Church in Fort Worth, TX where he served from 1985-1990. While serving as pastor, he earned both his M.Div. and D. Min. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, completing his doctorate in Muslim Evangelism. [Read more…]

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