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For decades, countries in Europe and North America have seen a steady flow of refugees, international students, business people and immigrants streaming into their countries. Muslims have always been among those leaving their home countries and settling in diaspora situations. However, in 2015, an unprecedented situation arose with more than one million, primarily Muslim refugees, pouring into Europe. In some places in Europe the development led to chaos and left the world wondering what was happening. In the mix of sympathy for—and compassion with—the refugees was the realisation that Europe was dramatically changed forever. People everywhere asked what this change would mean for Europe and the world.
It is obvious that such a large number of people with a different culture and religion will bring changes to our culture, lifestyle and perhaps even to our freedom and security. Because of this, many people seem to think we must protect our culture, lifestyle, freedom and certainly our security. Many Christians seem to think we need to ask God to protect our way of life. After all, they reason, our way of life is built on the values and beliefs of Christianity and the teaching of the Bible. But is it truly God’s main goal to see our way of life protected?
In Acts 17:26-27, Paul tells the Greek philosophers what the one true goal of God is. In verse 26, he explains that God made every nation on earth from one man, and He determines WHEN and WHERE they should live. In verse 27, Paul goes on to state that God has but one goal in determining the when and where of our life: so that they (every person on earth) may seek Him, experience Him and find Him.
When we look at the mass movement of refugees to Europe in 2015, we can be sure that God has something to do with it. God sets the lifetime of people and moves them to the place where He wants them in order that they may become interested—desperate for Him. He wants them to experience Him, often through the love, kindness and compassion of God’s children. And He wants people find Him and His saving grace.
Yes, the refugee crisis is truly a world emergency. Yes, Muslim diaspora groups in non-Muslim countries will bring dramatic change, which might be uncomfortable for many and perhaps dangerous for some. But it is also clear in the midst of this crisis that God has but one goal: That people will seek Him, reach out to Him, experience Him and find Him.
OM Muslim Diaspora Ministries exist because God’s goal must be our goal.
Published: Monday, 15 January 2018
Credit: Tillmann Klein