Loving Our Neighbour

Helping A New Believer

The ninth of a series of articles examining how we can respond to Muslims in the UK

People from Muslim backgrounds who come to faith in Christ in the UK often find that the Church does not understand or help them much. Disillusioned by their reception, they often struggle to go on in their new faith. So how can we help new believers?

It helps to understand their background. Did they grow up in the UK? What is the likely reaction from their family? Are they seeking asylum or were they born here? How much are they aware of British culture? Their situation will affect their needs, but here are some tips:

  • Provide friendship. Most new Christians from a Muslim background will face opposition from family or friends, perhaps being completely cold-shouldered. They need friends who will welcome them and spend hours with them. They need a new family – the family of the Church – and that is more than Sunday morning and a weekly Bible study! Indeed, what does a weekly Bible study look like to someone who is used to going to the mosque five times every day?
  • Encourage them to ask questions. Study the Bible together and listen to them pray. Doing this helps you to understand their struggles and issues.
  • Teach them to live in the Spirit. They have exchanged a religion based on rules for a relationship with the living God. Explain the difference!
  • Be sensitive to their culture. Male/female relations are often a particular issue. So is alcohol and pork. Someone who has thought of pork as filthy all their lives may well struggle to eat it. Most of us would have a hard time with snake!
  • Be prepared to offer a home if their family expels them. But this is a last resort – do what you can to help them live through family tension until this becomes impossible.
  • Help them to meet others from Muslim backgrounds who have come to faith in Christ. They will be able to empathise and understand in a way that is hard for us.

Written by AWM UK’s former Ministry Team Co-ordinator and edited, with permission, for the website.

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