Loving our Muslim Neighbors

By James Colten 07-31-2012
Illustration by Sandi Villarreal / Sojourners

Illustration by Sandi Villarreal / Sojourners

A few weeks ago, we asked you to sign a petition asking the Department of Justice to investigate hate crimes against the Islamic Society of Joplin’s mosque. Federal officials are offering $15,000 for information leading to the man who set the mosque on fire July 4th.

Beau Underwood wrote for Sojourners two weeks ago: “The biblical call to love our neighbors as ourselves requires Christians to speak out against these attacks. By protecting the rights of American Muslims to worship in the United States, we provide a powerful witness to those countries where Christian minorities face attack and persecution, such as Nigeria, Egypt, Somalia, and Kenya. If we expect others to take our advocacy for global religious freedom seriously, then our efforts must begin in our own backyard.”

More than 5,500 of you signed this petition, which is incredible! But we don’t have to stop there. Consider fasting a day during Ramadan with your community or loved ones, or one day breaking the fast with Muslim neighbors. Read a book written by an American Muslim to better understand what it’s like to practice a faith other than Christianity (my personal favorites are Acts of Faith by Eboo Patel, and The Muslim Next Door by Sumbul Ali-Karamali).

Take a few minutes each day to pray for all those (Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, et al) who are persecuted because of their faith. Pray also that we can set aside our theological differences once in a while to work for peace and justice in unity.

James Colten is Campaigns Assistant for Sojourners. Today is his birthday. You can follow him on Twitter @jamescolten.

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