Letter to the Missions Committee - University Pretoria PDF Print E-mail

 

Leandra Koenig
Chairperson
TUKS Missions Committee
P O Box 30479
Sunnyside
0132
Pretoria

To the TUKS Missions Committee

20 July 2005

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

Greetings in the precious Name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

On behalf of the missionaries and staff of Frontline Fellowship please be assured of our sincere and earnest prayers during this Missions Week. Over the last 20 years Frontline Fellowship has participated in ministry on the University of Pretoria campus and it has often also been our privilege to attend your Missions Weeks.

I’m sorry for all the strife and stress which you must be going through over the incident of Muslim students protesting about our missions display. It is an unfortunate sign of our times that intolerance lures its head even on university campuses which are meant to be bastions of free speech.

I have been a missionary for 26 years, much of which has been focused on the Muslim world. I have come under artillery, rocket and aerial bombardments from Islamic forces, even while preaching in churches in Sudan. The Frontline Fellowship mission base in Sudan was bombed ten times by the Sudan Air Force. Just last week I received a death threat from a Muslim group because of an article I wrote in response to Islamic attacks on Christianity. So we can understand something of what you must be going through, and I want to assure you of our sincere prayer support.

As we understand it, the central issues here are freedom of speech on the university campus and freedom of religion at a Missions Week.

Basic to the very concept of missions is that Jesus Christ is the only way to God; all other religions are false and everyone outside of Christ is lost. That is why the Great Commission must be our supreme ambition. The last command of Christ must be our first concern.

Muslims make up the largest un-reached people group in the world. Muslim states are also the primary persecutors of Christians worldwide. Literally hundreds of thousands of Christians are killed every year at the hands of Muslim regimes and Muslim mobs. I have personally witnessed this violence against Christians by Muslim mobs in Nigeria, and in Sudan from the National Islamic Front Government.

The 10/40 Window represents the final missions frontier. Within the 10/40 Window are most of the non-Christians in the world today. The 10/40 Window also contains the greatest amount

of dictatorships, the least amount of freedom, the most wars, the least stability, most natural disasters, the least amount of missionaries, the most desperately needy mission fields on earth. And the most needy and neglected mission fields within the 10/40 Window are in the Muslim Middle East.

It is the fulfilment of the Great Commission in the Muslim world that our mission is primarily concerned with. I have delivered some of the largest shipment of Bibles ever smuggled into an officially Islamic state. It has been my privilege to conduct mass literature distribution and film evangelism, using The Jesus Film in Arabic, even behind enemy lines in the Nuba Mountains.

By God’s grace, I have been involved in organising committees for missions conferences since 1980. We cannot have any group of Muslims interfering with the composition of a Missions Conference. I have never heard of Christians seeking to dictate what could transpire on the University of Cairo, or what publications were acceptable for the Islamic Propagation Centre International to distribute. Nor have I ever heard of Christians threatening Muslims for the free exercise of their religion within our own areas. However, we do know that no Christian missionaries are allowed in Saudi Arabia. Nor is there a single church in Saudi Arabia.

Universities are meant to be places of critical investigation, a free market place of ideas. If freedom of speech cannot be effectively protected on a university campus, what future is there for higher education? Higher education requires critical thinking, dissent, disagreement and open debate – without threats of violence and interfering with the freedom of others.

It is extremely disturbing that the freedom of conscience, belief and opinion of Christians even at a Christian Mission Week can be interfered with by the threats and intimidation of a few Muslim militants. If we do not have the courage to stand up for the truth of the Christian faith, against the deception and violence of Islam, at a Christian Missions Week at the University of Pretoria, in South Africa, how are we going to fulfil the Great Commission within the Muslim Middle East? If the TUKS Missions Committee can be intimidated into withdrawing the invitation of a mission to Muslims at a UP Missions Week, what is to stop Muslim groups being encouraged to intimidate similar missions committees at other university campuses?

If literature and missions deemed controversial and offensive to Muslims can be withdrawn under pressure, should Hindu, Buddhist, Animist, Atheist, and other assorted non-Christian groups also take heart that if they exert sufficient pressure and threats that material and missions considered offensive to them could also be withdrawn?

Could we reach a stage where such compromise would exclude most of the effective missions and ministries from future Missions Weeks because aspects or elements of their ministry are deemed offensive by some?

Does the Bible not also contain much which is controversial and offensive to many?

Where do we draw the line? Where will this kind of accommodation end?

May the Lord continue to bless, guide and strengthen each one of you as you seek to be a dynamic group of students committed to the expansion of God’s Kingdom worldwide.

Yours for the fulfilment of the Great Commission

Dr. Peter Hammond

Director

 
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