The recent terrorist attacks in Paris have caused a lot of public debate—surrounding issues of immigration (broadly), refugees (specifically), public safety, the nature of Islam, the role of compassion, and much more. In light of this, we reached out to one of our Summit missionaries working in a predominantly Muslim context, to ask if he felt threatened or unsafe. His response has a lot to teach us about what it means to risk it all for Christ:
I have been thinking all morning about an answer to your question. First of all, I totally understand the response of fear. We, as people, fear what is unknown, and Islam is both very unfamiliar and very threatening as a whole right now.
But as Muslim countries go, ours is far from threatening or dangerous. We live surrounded by Muslim neighbors and friends. My family, with young children, lives miles from the nearest other foreigners, yet not once have we felt threatened. In a country where nearly everyone claims Islam, there has been absolutely no danger from religious violence. I’ve actually been more worried about my neighbors in the U.S. wanting harm for us.
To put things in perspective, in the last 15 years, the U.S. has had one major terrorist attack and a few other smaller ones (not to mention the many others that have been caught before being successful). There have also been a dozen mass shootings, everywhere from malls to elementary schools. That’s just the United States. Look at London, Paris, and numerous cities in Europe and North America—“safe” places. They’ve been hit with many targeted attacks. In that same time period, we’ve seen nothing like that—no large terrorist attacks, no school shootings.