Islam: A Religion of Peace or Persecution?

By Angela Wittman

A friend recently sent me a Whitehouse press release from last November of Pres. Bush hosting the Iftaar Dinner in the State Dining Room. Here are some of the comments President Bush made two months after the 9-11 terrorist attacks:

"Good evening, and welcome to the White House. I'm so honored to welcome such distinguished guests and ambassadors during the holy month of Ramadan.

"America is made better by millions of Muslim citizens. America has close and important relations with many Islamic nations. So it is fitting for America to honor your friendship and the traditions of a great faith by hosting this Iftaar at the White House....

"Ramadan is a time of fasting and prayer for the Muslim faithful. So tonight we are reminded of God's greatness and His commandments to live in peace and to help neighbors in need. According to Muslim teachings, God first revealed His word in the holy Qur'an to the prophet, Muhammad, during the month of Ramadan. That word has guided billions of believers across the centuries, and those believers built a culture of learning and literature and science.

"All the world continues to benefit from this faith and its achievements. Ramadan and the upcoming holiday season are a good time for people of different faiths to learn more about each other. And the more we learn, the more we find that many commitments are broadly shared. We share a commitment to family, to protect and love our children. We share a belief in God's justice, and man's moral responsibility. And we share the same hope for a future of peace. We have much in common and much to learn from one another."

Now, before you make up your mind that this is a perfectly acceptable form of diplomacy and that the Muslim religion is just another way to God on the wide path to heaven; let me share this heartbreaking plea for prayer and intervention from a pastor in Nigeria. Please keep in mind that this is written one year after Pres. Bush hosted "Iftaar" in the Whitehouse and made the statements about America having close relations with Islamic nations and sharing hope for future peace.

Dear Dave & Karen,

You might have heard of another terrible happening in Kaduna on Nov 21st, 2002. Yes, it is true. But let us thank God for His divine protection and guidance. My church was completely put ablaze, nothing is standing and nothing was taken out. (I mean where you visited us and preached at Lemu Road, Tudun, Nupawa.) All the churches on our street--not one of them is standing. The Muslims burnt down all. The walls of our Church fence were pulled down. This gave them (Muslims) opportunity to vandalize everything that was not burnt.
They killed two persons in our neighbouring Church ECWA (Evangelical Church of West Africa). But in my Church NKST, there was no killing. The Lord took out our guards; the one that was left behind they beat him nearly to death; he was rescued by the military men. He was then taken to the army barrack where he is receiving treatment.

As for my family and I, we are safe. I did not go down to the office in Tudun, Nupawa where our place of worship is that morning..... So we are all safe. They killed one of my members' son and burned him. Brother, the number of dead people at this riot, I tell you only God that knows the number:many lives have gone. They succeeded in killing hundreds of Christians.

They burnt many Churches and Christian homes over the other side of the river ­Kaduna. It is terrible, brother. The reason for their anger was that the newspaper publication attacks Mohammed their prophet on the issue of the Miss World Contest in Nigeria; that if Mohammed were alive he would even marry a beautiful lady from the contestants. They burnt the Newspaper Branch Office at Kaduna and started killing and burning Christians, and destroying Christians properties.

Our new building at Sabo where I am now, is safe. Glory be to God. We need your prayers, brother. We need Christians from other parts of the world to intervene for this killing in Nigeria. The sharia war is suffering Nigeria. We need your support that Muslims will stop killing us, please. If there is any way you can help me make our problem known to the world--Christian world, I will be thankful. This is the fourth consecutive time that our Church NKST is affected by Muslims. Each time they will attack us and burn our Church down. In 1987, 1992 and (the two worst ones) 2000 and 2002 they burnt us; not even a pin taken out. In 2000 and 2002 the government of Kaduna and Nigeria refused to compensate us.

The members of NKST send their greetings to you and your family. Tell them that we have not lost faith. As we pray for you, you also pray for us. Antiev is strong in Christ. The Lord will do what is pleasing for Him ­ (2Sam 10:12.)

Thank God for sparing Antiev and Family.

Thank God for your prayers on our behalf. God bless you all.

I will communicate soon.

Antiev (Rev.)

Now after reading this eyewitness account of the recent rioting, destruction and killing in Nigeria, I must ask you to search your heart and answer this question, "Is Islam a religion of peace or persecution?"

Rev. Antiev would answer the latter.

I pray we will share a true commitment with our brothers and sisters in Nigeria and join Antiev in prayer for his nation, church, family and friends.

Originally published in 2002.


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