East-West Church & Ministry Report
Vol. 3, No. 1, Fall 1995, Covering the Former Soviet Union and East Central Europe

Letter to the Editors

In "Islam in the Soviet Era," EWC&M Report 2 (Fall 1994), 10-11, Don Fairbairn writes, "the subjection of Islamic societies to both 'Christian' and Marxist rulers in the last four centuries may lead many Eurasian Muslims to identify the two," and distrust Westerners and their ideologies.  Having lived and worked in one of the Muslim countries of the former USSR for a year, I disagree.

Muslims welcomed us with open arms and readily accepted us into their homes and into their daily lives.  We went to work with them in education and business as Christians letting them know our reason for coming was because of Jesus' command to love our neighbor as ourselves.  We were respected as believers in God, unlike communist, atheist "Kafirs" (unbelievers).  We also went in speaking their language, not Russian, which I believe helped us earn their trust.

I agree with Mr. Fairbairn that we need to be careful not to offer Central Asian Muslims Western Christianity.  A church of Central Asian Muslim converts will be much different from a Western or Orthodox church.  Central Asians are the most educated of all Muslims as he rightly pointed out.  The Bible, or sometimes portions of it, has been translated into Central Asian languages.  Now they need to see the gospel worked out in the daily lives of committed Christians.

Chris Chen

Chris Chen, Letter to the Editors, East-West Church & Ministry Report, 3 (Winter 1995), 10.

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1995 Institute for East-West Christian Studies
ISSN 1069-5664

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