About Daniel Shayesteh

Dr Daniel was born into a Muslim family in Northern Iran. He became a radical Muslim leader and teacher of Islam in the militant Free Islamic Revolutionary Movement, closely supporting Ayatollah Khomeini. However, after falling out of favor with Khomeini’s political group, he escaped to Turkey where there began an amazing journey to faith in Jesus Christ.

Daniel's mission is to help others understand and lovingly respond to those who do not know Christ. He is also deeply concerned for the future of Western societies, their loss of confidence in Judeo-Christian values, and their persistent naivete about the implications of the world-wide Islamic revival.

The Birth of Christ Is the Gift of Peace to the World

Jesus is the gift from heaven to all, from the cruelest to the most oppressed, to sad and happy people, to become kind and have peace with each other. He Himself said that He came to preach the acceptable year of the Lord (Luke 4:19), the year in which people graciously receive each other for a harmonious and united life.

2014 turned out to become one of those years at war with conscience and with the excellence of God who aims to crown humanity with freedom and peace. It became one of those hostile years that repeated Islamic history by sanctioning enslavement, barbaric beheading and crucifixion. (Quran 5:33) The petro-dollar made Islamists more outrageous in massacring helpless people who did not want to live their way or were hesitant to join their religion.

What can stop these blood-thirsty people for a moment to consider the fact that compulsion keeps communities from being productive? Who can help them to understand that brains stop working in a terrorist atmosphere and societies fall if brains do not function properly? Who can help them to grasp the value of a modest leadership style that leads people in harmony in order to be creative and prosperous in every aspect of life? Who can wake them up to see that Muslim nations never had a sincere and peaceful relationship with each other in the past 1400 years of Islamic history because of Islam’s tyrannical leadership style? Who can raise their consciences to understand that if Islam hasn’t been able to produce an ideal peaceful community in the past 1400 years, it won’t be able after this too since the fundamental problem is at the root of Islam?

All ex-Muslim followers of Jesus Christ, like other followers of Jesus, have the response to these questions: “No one but Jesus Christ”. A part of my mission in my recent trip to Finland was to meet with some Muslims and ex-Muslims from Afghanistan. I listened to the following comments of an Afghan young Muslim mother of two who was talking about a Finish Christian lady. She burst into tears saying, “Who is this lady? I have not seen a glimpse of her love and kindness from the god of Islam, in the entire Quran, from my own mother, brothers and sisters and nowhere in Afghanistan. The love and kindness in her are bigger than oceans and have brought my knees down in front of Jesus. I proudly confess that Jesus is the God of love and peace. Afghanistan and the entire Islamic world need to bow down to Jesus in order to be able to have peace and comfort.

True harmony, peace and comfort do not take place in our lives and relationships unless our hearts are full of absolute love. This love comes from Jesus Christ. Even the loveliest person of the world is not able to guarantee our comfort and peace because of his/her limited capacity against difficulties, either internal or external. That’s why many world leaders, even though some with good intention, are unable to establish peace in the world.

The peace the world offers is a momentary one which fades away when troubles raise their heads. It is a peace that does not give rest to the human soul; it does not keep conscience alive; it does not take away disrespectful attitudes from people; it is unable to truly reconcile people to one another. The human soul is permanent and needs long-lasting peace and harmony. Christ is the One who inspires permanent peace and rids hearts and minds of the tendency for authoritarianism, segregation and sectarianism.

Christ loves and cares unconditionally. His love and care are against any law, ritual or custom that are the causes of discrimination and segregation. True love and care must be for the advantage of others. Your love towards a person must be for the advantage of that person but not for your own advantage. The care and love in Islam are for its own advantage. It offers care and love as long as its customs and rituals, which stir up favoritism and hostility, are kept with respect.

Christ, on the contrary, came to abolish such laws, rituals and customs in order to unite people from every nation, race and language group. His Gospel says:
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise (Galatians 3:28-29).
He gave up His right and life so that others could have life, walk free with abundant comfort and peace. The world needs Christ who has the heart and mind of God and is able to carry out the heavenly mandate for a true and peaceful relationship. He loves everyone to come to the knowledge of His truth and into an intimate relationship with Him in order to have peace with others. The world has failed to carry out such an intimacy in relationships. If there were a little hope for the world to establish a true peace, it would not be necessary for God to pay a great price for it. As the Gospel says:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16), And through Him having made peace through the blood of His cross, it pleased the Father to reconcile all things to Himself through Him, whether the things on earth or the things in Heaven.  (Colossians 1:20)
Worldly people and beliefs seek their own interests, do everything for their own advantage and always expect the opposite parties to pay the price. Islam has based its ethics and morality on these worldly values and this is the reason for its ungodliness. Islamic peace is equal to surrendering; Israel must surrender, all people of other beliefs must surrender to Islam. Islamists will not rest until all the world is made subject to Islam. This is what the Quran teaches:
The bedouins say: "We believe." Say: "You believe not but you only say, 'We have surrendered (in Islâm),' for Faith has not yet entered your hearts. But if you obey Allâh and His Messenger, He will not decrease anything in reward for your deeds. Verily, Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."  (Sura 49:14).
The precondition for following Islam is surrendering to Allah and his prophet Muhammad against your own desire and understanding. This is sharply different to the approaches of Jesus Christ. The Gospel says since we have the Spirit of faith in Christ, we also believe, and therefore speak (2 Corinthians 4:13). In other words, we investigate, evaluate, make sure and believe first and then confess with our mouth, but in Islam you surrender first and then believe even though without understanding. The doctrine of peace in Islam follows the same principle: you surrender to Islam first and then expect peace from Muslims. So the true manifestation of Islamic peace is how much others are willing to sacrifice for Islam. That’s why Islamists enslave, crucify or behead those who do not give up their rights. They are at war with Islam according to the doctrine of Islam. But in Christ, the approach is different. He paid the price even for His enemies so that they could pause for a moment, use their brains and hearts, and see whether peace and harmony would be better choices than hatred and hostility.

That’s why we, as the followers of Jesus Christ, have a profound mission in opening the eyes of people to the uniqueness of His approaches to peace. He is the Prince of Peace.

As we are approaching Christmas, let us whole-heartedly believe that the Birth of Christ is the gift of peace from heaven to the world. Christ has chosen us to pass His gift to others and encourage them to open their hearts to receive Him as their Prince of Peace.

Political Correctness That Is Rooting Out National Loyalty

Many governments and universities in the West have allowed their policies to be influenced by the ideas of those who do not represent the interests of the West but have loyalty to stranger groups or governments. Islamic governments have been sending thousands of students yearly in order to be educated in the western universities, but our university leaders have been restricting the freedom of speech in the universities so that it may not hurt the feelings of these Muslims who are not used to democracy. Many migrant Muslims also who have taken refuge in the West do not treat their new country of residence as home, but, consciously or unconsciously, ignore the rights of the majority who have been kindly sharing the blessing of their countries with them. These Muslims invest the love of their heart for their motherland Islamic country but expect the western governments to change laws to suit their motives. This is against the desire of their host country residents who have paid a great price for establishing their democratic laws and life style. Unfortunately, some politicians, leaders and citizens have been also giving way to the motives of these opportunist and ethnic-oriented people. These immigrants want to nail their power-centered sectarian agendas to the great West for marginalizing the democratic and patriotic majority in order to dominate. It is crystal clear that the majority of the residents will be under the threat of losing their national identities if their politicians and leaders mobilize resources in favor of those who are loosely attached to their host country values.

Those, who have been holding themselves head and shoulders above others in the West, have promoted continually that multiculturalism and pluralism would manifest a variety of perspectives, fight discrimination, promote tolerance and pave the way for harmony and peace. What we see now is instead a road to a type of ethnocentrism for which the Middle East has been suffering an unending war for centuries since the rise of Islam. Ethnocentrism is a threat to everything in a democratic society. We have witnessed the danger of it in the past decades on how the loyal citizens in the West are limited to express their love for their countries and flags.

The western leaders have shown extraordinary weakness in following the historically proven Judeo-Christian values which ensure justice, unity and harmony amongst diverse populations. Diversity does not lead to harmony if we welcome the ethnocentric narrow-minded individuals or groups to teach us what to do. If we do, they will inspire us with disloyalty and divide our nation into isolated groups in order to create tensions among citizens on one hand and on the other hand convince people that only a power-centered government is the solution for tensions. That’s why those western politicians, university teachers and graduates who are supporting isolationist groups in the name of multiculturalism have become disloyal to their countries. There are Caucasian westerners who prefer the motives of the terrorist organization Hamas to Western Democracy since Hamas is one of the best in fighting Judeo-Christian values. Look what has happened to the West where some people who call themselves intellectuals and better than others have nothing to offer their people but the hostility of a terrorist organization. Utterly heart-breaking! Instead of being the light and salt of democracy to freedom-haters they rather push their own nation to be slaves to authoritarianism.

Spreading disloyalty will never serve the interest of our public and country. If we do not encourage our kids to appreciate the sacrificial contributions of our people towards the costs of governments, universities and schools, will foreigners come to appreciate them? Absolutely not. I have been taxed 14% per cent of my income for school costs only. I have met people who have been paying 20% of their income for schools and universities. This school taxation plus the taxes to the local, state and federal governments are what show the contributions of each family towards their country.  Are we overloaded with taxes for the schools and universities that teach our children to turn their backs to their nation and disregard the sacrifices of their parents and grandparents? If our kids do not learn to value our sacrifices, to remain loyal to our nation, flag and the sovereignty of our country, who else will do it? In what other way can we teach our future generations to care for their nation and land?

We are face to face with a huge problem. Many of us have been keeping quiet towards those who aim to destroy our values through our own tax money. We have made a great mistake in entrusting our leaders with the responsibility to lead and teach. Many of them are not only ethically inferior to the rank and file citizens and unable to appreciate the kindness of their nation, but also pay back with irreverence and hostility. Our second mistake is that we do not want to stand behind those who are patriotic and defend our values since it is costly.

We as Christians should not be afraid of revealing the spiritual, political and social darkness in our societies since we are called to be the salt and light of the world. Light destroys darkness and salt preserves our good values. Our criticism with the love of Christ can be a remedy that helps our children to appreciate the sacrifices we make towards the well-being of our community and empowers them to stay loyal to their country.

Where Are We Heading with Contemporary Western Ethics?

We are living in a time when few politicians evaluate their thoughts, words and actions for the well-being of their nations who have entrusted the leadership of their societies to them. In most cases, their political life is irrelevant to the life of their people. Actually, politics means “relating to people”. It is (or should be) therefore a channel of interrelationship between government and the society, reflecting the interests of people in the mission of their government.

Politicians must be in the service of their people, but most of our contemporary politicians prove the opposite, receiving people’s money to improve their own life-style. Not only this, they further put pressure on people subtly to align themselves with their hidden desires for things that people never thought of.

It is so sad to see that the majority of our politicians accommodate two opposite political ethics in their mission, the ethics of before election which are to give hope to people and the ethics of after which is for self-centeredness and kept secret before the election. The ethics of before elections are to trap people for the establishment of their relative ethics of after election.

They promised to protect freedom before the election, but their promises resulted in chaotic multiculturalism which is now serving the cause of ISIS with exporting many jihadists from the West to Iraq and Syria. In a similar way, their guarantee for justice resulted in political correctness and for peace and security but increasing insecurity.

The majority of politicians have forgotten the good old western political ethic that established a heavy price for lying to the community. Today, politicians lie to the face of people and people also continue to support them. People have become more party-oriented, compromising the truth for the interest of their party, though at the cost of invaluable ethics. No matter how corrupt a party’s nominee may be, party delegates and supporters feel obligated to lift him/her up. A party-centered political ethic leads to self-centeredness and dictatorship and serves only the interest of a handful of people who have gained power. People will be forgotten.

Self-centeredness in politics always results in the creation of self-pleasing ethical codes which strips people of their responsibility for protecting their rights and the rights of their society. Experience has proven that anytime people lose power to their politicians, their enemies also get more power. The greatest example of our time is the position of Islamists in the West. Islamists have more freedom to destroy our Christians values in the West than us to protect our values. They have been able to hide themselves under the self-centeredness of our governments and under the banner of the dominant political correctness and have extraordinary power to do whatever they liked, either fighting openly against any sign of Christianity or preparing terrorists and sending them to join ISIS and other Islamic terrorist groups. On the contrary, all patriots are face to face with the governmental restrictions if they stand to reveal the Islamists’ evil creeds and plans.

Recently I heard that there is not any law in the West yet whereby to prosecute western jihadist Muslims who have joined ISIS or to stop their social security and other benefits. Western governments have been feeling obligated to set laws so that nobody can hurt the feelings of any Muslims, but did not give a similar amount of attention to restricting mosques and Islamists for training jihadists and thereby protecting the majority from the threats of Islamists. The White House went even further and forbade government employees to use the word Islam or Muslim in describing a terrorist action even though the terrorists leave clear signs that their actions stem from the instruction of Islam. The Fort Hood massacre in 2009 by a devout Muslim and the beheading by another devout Muslim in Oklahoma in September 2014 were all called “work place violence.” Codes of conduct like this will much widen the scope of activities for terrorists to kill and behead many more people and jeopardize the security of western nations. As a Middle Easterner, I never experienced in my 32 years of life in Iran and 4 years in Turkey that a violent person in a work place would shout “Allah o Akbar” or behead someone in an Islamic way. The Islamic style of killing happens only when Islamists invade a place to erase any non-Islamic values and establish the Islamic values.

This contemporary western capricious ethic has become a channel for terrorist-minded Muslims to fight against our free values easily until they are destroyed. Universities that are expected to be the fortress of free speech have become the hub of Islamists and leftists who hate freedom of speech. I myself learned the courage for free speech in the university for the first time but now the greatest gifts of the majority of western universities to people are either indifference or aggressive attitudes towards freedom of speech.

The supremacist Islamic groups have been taking advantage of this unreliable ethic and even have been presenting themselves as the civil rights defenders in order to penetrate the most important offices in the West and pave the way for more terrorism. They have been very successful in the pursuit of their agendas.

The situation will become more calamitous if people do not take their responsibility when they vote to restore their ethical values. The Westerners need to return to their own Christian ethics and say no to capricious politicians and to their relative ethics. It was not the relative ethics and values that caused the western countries to boom in every aspect of life, but the Christian values and ethics. One reason that the West is sliding back in its productivity is the dominance of the relative ethic. That opened the door wide to the anarchic style trading principles such as Islamic Sharia Finance which aims to establish a centralized governmental economy at the cost of free market values. Christian values have already proved themselves to be superior to any other cultural values. If not, no multinational corporations in the world would prefer the flat, decentralized and participative leadership style which is the most creative and productive leadership style and is from Jesus Christ.

As Christians we have great obligations on our shoulders to reveal the values of Christ in comparison with others, educate our children and nations so that they can learn and also teach others that no society can prosper or be safe for living unless the model of Jesus is followed.  A society with relative values and ethics is self-destructive and disastrous.

Huge Investment for Hatred!?

The amount of money spent (wasted) for hatred in our contemporary world yearly is mind boggling. It can be used in development, education and job creation, but destruction has won more interest and has reached to the top of the priority list in many developed and underdeveloped countries. In the West, the arrows of hatred have been continually thrown to Christians and Christianity from all sorts of groups who see the absolute Truth of Christ a threat to their relativism and immorality. It is astonishing that many of these haters fight against our freedom by using our tax money. Because of political correctness, our governments have opened wide the doors to these minority groups to change laws to suit their agendas, and further impose more taxes on us to fund their plans for opposition nationally and even internationally. The majority of our contemporary Islamic terrorists, such as the Taliban, Osama bin Laden, and ISIS were supported all in the name of liberation by some western governments. The terrorist organization Hamas not only receives millions of dollars from western governments, but also is the most venerated group by many in western universities because of its tightly organized anti-Semitism and anti-Israeli agendas.

Islamic terrorists are called freedom fighters by many westerners. Imagine if Hamas was not supported by westerners, it would not be able to spend fifty million dollars towards building underground tunnels for terrorizing Jews, though at the cost of its own people who are kept poor in every aspect. Imagine if many western governments, university leaders and media outlets were not ignorant but knew the true friends of their nations and did not fund or speak in favor of the Taliban and Osama bin Laden against Russian Communism, Khomeini against the Shah of Iran and Israel, the ISIL (ISIS or IS) group against Bashar Asad’s dictatorship and the Muslim Brotherhood against the Arab Spring, they wouldn’t be able to slaughter their own people relentlessly and waste millions of our tax dollars.

Ignorance is the best channel to treasure and finance hatred. That’s why dictators keep their people unaware of many things in order to raise enough support for their authoritarianism and cruelties. And that’s why many of our universities have been trying to keep the majority of our young students away from understanding life in the context of the world so that the enemies of Christianity can gain more support and political power for the establishment of their big and dictatorial governments.

Opponents of Christianity are also causing Christians to lose millions of dollars in defense of our freedom. I myself know a handful of organizations that have spent millions of dollars in order to defend our freedom against those who are tirelessly working to chain us to authoritarianism and force us to comply to their hatred.

What has contributed to our contemporary economic downturn in the world? It is the billions of dollars spent in terrorism and against terrorism. The Islamic hatred and terrorism has created insecurity and distrust everywhere, as is plainly evident in the western airports.

Hatred is such an awful sin that blinds people to see just how vital reconciliation is, instead consuming their money and time to pave the ground for the victory of destruction and band-aid solutions. This very costly disease must be uprooted in the heart, even if it means loving our worst enemies unconditionally. There are thousands of reasons to call Jesus the God of the universe, but His unique and mighty stand against hatred with His unconditional love alone is a great proof for His Godhood. He is the only One who sanctions that no law and prophet would be able to respect people and live in peace unless they were founded on love. This is His exact words:
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 22: 37-40)
Neither the culture, nor the law, nor the prophets, nor the government of a nation can be truly caring if they are not dependent on love. If haters of Jesus Christ knew the difference between Him and Muhammad, they would not equate the faith in Christ with Islam or even see Islam superior.

The god and the law of Islam, as well as prophesy in Islam, are all inherently linked to hatred. But the Gospel of Jesus Christ says that God is love (1John 4: 7), and then calls upon people to immerse and submit themselves in His absolute love in order to be able to love others as themselves and bring the tower of hatred down for reconciliation.

The God of love must dominate our hearts if we truly are to care for others. What is happening between Israel and Palestinians and in Syria, Iraq, Sudan, and Somalia is because Muhammad made hatred an inseparable part of Islamic belief. Love is not the driving force in Islam, rather the hatred of others who do not subject themselves to Islam. That hatred started in Muhammad’s Mecca first against non-Muslims, which brought about huge slaughter. Even though all nations surrounding Mecca were ‘cleansed’ of non-Islamic beliefs and forced to join Islam, hatred did not disappear. It raised its horn this time amongst Muhammad’s own extended family for the destruction of its members. This is what hatred does and many people in the world, including Muslims, do not understand its real nature. When hatred takes root in a person’s heart against others, it does not finish by depriving, abusing or terrorizing them. Since that person’s heart is pregnant with hatred, the heart will give birth to more hatred inside his own family and society, and progressively will establish its kingdom for destruction. That’s why hatred never left Islamic societies right from the beginning of Islam up until now. What Islamists are portraying now in slaughtering each other and other minorities in astonishing manners in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and wherever the real Islam rules, is identical to the historic hatred of Muhammad. Once hatred is made part of a belief, it thereby becomes a part of everything in the life of its adherents and runs from generation to generation.

The West needs to learn that their hatred towards Christ and Christians is not going to remain as it is; it will also give birth to more hatred in their own families and will cause destruction amongst their own family members and peers in the long run.

We are fortunate that we are saved by Jesus Christ in order to be able to love people as ourselves, be a blessing to them regardless of their beliefs and backgrounds and avoid any kind of hatred that is harmful to both them and us. We are in this world to be the ambassadors of Jesus Christ for the establishment of His peace and reconciliation, and for teaching people to be good stewards, investing in love and kindness instead of hatred.

Desire for the Best That Is In Everybody

Every person in the world desires to have the best of everything. This does not mean that everybody knows what the best is, but they are created in a way to desire the best.

People do not wish to spend their money, which is sometimes saved with much difficulty, to purchase a faulty car; neither do they wish to have an unkind husband or wife when building a family. No ideology, belief, or even organizational culture was made with the intention of attaining bad and faulty things. Many beliefs have not been helpful to their followers, but their authors never intended, in my opinion, to deliver bad beliefs to their followers. The reason that these beliefs did not work well was not because of their authors’ desires, but because of their inability to design them in the context of a holistic life, enabling their followers to seek and find the best. That’s why their lack of knowledge could become very costly.

We are created in a way to desire and give higher priority to the best of everything deep in our hearts. However, to put this desire into practice in a beneficial way we need to establish the highest standard within us which can give us the power of evaluation and of decision making for the best. It is not only to desire the best, but also to have a sound principle whereby to choose the best.  

This is where faith in Christ supersedes all other beliefs in the world. There is a wide gap between the desire of people’s hearts and the process of attaining that desire in other beliefs. People desire to have peace within their relationships and in society, but their beliefs have not offered them principles which can take them to such a destination. They seek confidence about their future and design their lives based on such a desire, and yet their beliefs never offer them such a confidence about their future.

That’s why we, as the followers of Jesus Christ, can stand in that gap and share our eternal hope with others. Such desire motivates a search for answers; it opens hearts and makes them available for conversations in search of Truth. We can help lead them to the Truth that quenches every thirst. Sometimes it only takes a simple question to grab their attention and engage them in continued conversations with us. Questions such as:

  1. What do you desire to achieve in the future?
  2. Do you need to have a reason for your achievements and life?
  3. Do you think everybody knows the truth needed for achieving the best of everything? 
  4. Do you believe that people have the capacity and capability to understand the truth?
  5. How is the truth best understood? Do we need to evaluate beliefs and see how truthful they are? 
  6. Do you believe that people need to understand each other’s beliefs so that by communicating with one another they might discover the truth?
  7. Do you think that everybody should embrace the truth? 

Questions such as these stimulate thought and bring about opportunities to encourage people to believe that they are capable to discover the truth and realize their God given potential. Of course, it helps to know their worldviews in order to be able to help them to understand that they will not be able to reach their goals because of the short comings in their beliefs.

The desire for the best is the greatest witness from God which He placed in the hearts of people. Christian evangelism becomes influential when it helps people to understand that they won’t be able to have the best unless they know and follow the Author of the best first and foremost. Jesus said:
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. (Matthew 6: 33, MKJV)   
Jesus is bringing forth the meaning that faith in God will captivate us entirely, make us the members of God’s household and ready our hearts and minds for what He has destined for each of us.

This is the reason that all other beliefs are not able to help their followers to reach the best. The conviction in atheism about the best is nothing but the force of nature, meaning that whatever happens is it, nothing more, nothing less. Therefore, we cannot compare one belief with another and categorize it as wrong or right according to atheism. In other words, there is no best to desire; everything that happens is the best in its time.

The predominant belief in the contemporary West does not distinguish or recognize a difference between good and bad, right and wrong, thus paralyzing people from maintaining a good conscience in order to understand the perfect nature of the truth and march ahead by knowledge for the embodiment of their desires. In Islam also, people need to approach their desires in the context of Islamic authoritarianism where the desires of the leader comes first. What can tyranny offer people in the pursuit of their desires? Desire without freedom will remain captive in the mind and heart, something unrealized, a mere theory.

These beliefs not only limit people’s strengths in search of the Truth, but also lay a great load on their shoulders and further push them to move towards an unknown future. But faith in Christ is different. By coming to Christ and embracing His standard, people will be freed from the obstacles of their beliefs and fall into the secure hands of Christ who paves the road for them to achieve the best and rest in it eternally. Christ says:
Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11: 28, MKJV)

Enormous Connecting Ability We Humans Have

Imagine what would happen if humanity did not have the capacity to relate to one another, find reasons for friendship and combat the threat of separation, war and hostility. How fortunate we are for being able to relate to others in many ways.

We can subdue the wildest animals, if we want, and make them friendly. We just need to prove to them how friendly and caring we are. When it comes to human relationships, we have an amazing rational power to reason with our fellow man. We have the rational and emotional power to influence the mindset of our enemies and persecutors. How many fascinating stories have we heard about the persecuted Christians who influenced their persecutors and tied their hearts to Christ?

When we research the foundational principles of other religions and philosophies, I am amazed that none of them other than the Biblical faith gives the responsibility to humanity to make decision based on understanding, dialogue and reasoning.  God calls people to reason together:
Come now, and let us reason together, says Jehovah. (Isaiah 1: 18a, MKJV)

Humanity is called to get out of narrow mindedness, use its full competence to discern the truth, discover the means of harmonious friendship and live in peace with fellow men and women.

Secular Humanism, New Age, Eastern religions focus on individualistic aspects of life, creating indifference in the minds of people towards community life.  Evolutionary atheism ranks humanity as substance, the product of the material world, which is unable to follow an intelligently established standard. Islam bases its social relationship on sectarian power of dominance and rejects sincere friendship with non-Muslims. It is only the Bible that says:
It is an honor for a man to cease from strife, but every fool exposes himself. (Proverb 20:3, MKJV). Follow peace with all, and holiness, without which no one shall see the Lord. (Hebrew 12:14, MKJV). The one who does not love has not known God. For God is love. (1John 4:8, MKJV)

The heart of the Bible is that we should try our utmost to connect with others for a long lasting friendship.

How can we cease from conflicts, but follow peace through loving one another despite differences in cultures and beliefs? The response is the openness to read the chapters of each other’s lives and choose the best.

God knows that diversity reveals itself with many faces in relationships. He also knows that relationships get better and better if we start to use our minds, hearts, and conscience in order to evaluate values and choose the best ones for our own personal lives and for our relationships with others. God is the relational God and wants us to be relational too. He desires us to see things happening in others’ or our lives, what others or we are missing and how life can be upgraded. It is only through consideration and evaluation that our deeper desire to have the best will grow and motivate us to choose the best for our life and relationship.

The reason that God revealed Himself in Christ was to communicate with us, show us what is stored for us beyond the limits of this world and what steps we need to take in order to have access to great things. He is God and able to give us everything we need.  But He has created us with freedom of choice and an abundance of abilities to get out of our own closed circles, be in contact with others and use our talents to choose meaningful values for our lives.

Building creative dialogue is very important for the God of the Bible. There were only two options for God concerning humanity: either to stay away from them and leave them in the kingdom of darkness or to pay a great price, build relationship with them and transfer them into light. He chose the latter, as the Gospel says:
And through Him [Christ] having made peace through the blood of His cross, it pleased the Father to reconcile all things to Himself through Him, whether the things on earth or the things in Heaven. (Colossians 1: 20, MKJV)
Christ went through the painful Cross and resurrected in order to connect us to God. The same Christ also asks us to go to others, connect with them and teach them what He taught us. One of His teachings is if we have faith the size of a mustard seed, we will be able to move mountains.  He is telling us that nothing is impossible for us.  If we do not go to others and teach them, how will they know that such great capacity is awaiting them and that they can overcome difficulties? That’s why the Gospel puts vital questions in front of us:
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without preaching? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace and bring glad tidings of good things!" (Romans 10: 14-15, MKJV)
Since we have been told of this Good News, since through faith we have the capacity to overcome all barriers in human relationship, we must now tell other of this Good News that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

What Are Young Muslims Searching For?

Life has become unbearable for many young Muslims in Islamic countries, especially when they are able to see other lifestyles through the television and internet. Majority of Islamic countries are social, political, economic and moral prisons for these young Muslims. As someone said, “Yes, our religion is perfect, but in imprisoning us.”

On one side, the Islamic culture is trying to tie their minds, hearts, hands and legs with a totalitarian principle in order to keep the 7th century Saudi Arabian culture alive, but on the other hand the egalitarian voice of the west is loud and drawing their attention . On one hand, Islamists are pushing and offering them a lot of money to stand for this oppressive culture with the utmost effort, on the other hand a voice is whispering in their ears, telling them, “do not allow anyone to belittle your youth”. Some are drawn to them for financial reasons as this is the only opportunity they have, but many are starting to question their religion and fleeing from their homelands in order to take refuge in a non-Islamic country with the hope of attaining their dignity and self-confidence. Since democratic country leaders have not shown interest in being, at the least, a moral support to young Muslims against their suppressive governments, they have found the solution in trying to take refuge in democratic countries.

Young people in Islamic countries are not able to plan their futures independently without the interference of ruling authorities. They are not able to speak freely with the person who they intend to build a future family. Males are watch-dogs over the females of their families in order to keep their freedom at zero, to preserve their so-called Islamic honor among the community. For this reason, married couples only start getting to know each other after marriage, when the internal layers of behaviors and family values come to surface.

To get their desired job or enroll in their desired university courses, they need to align themselves with the desires of the ruling authorities. In interviews, the quality of the candidate is secondary to favoritism. You need to prove that neither you nor any member of your family or clan disapproves of the ruling authority.

Moral corruption under the rule of committed Muslims is yet another threatening factor in blocking the way to success for young Muslims, especially females.  For example, since short term marriage is legal in Iran, a professor can force his student to be his wife for a day or a week in order to grant her a pass mark. Not only do we hear of such instances from many young Muslims who leave Iran but other accounts of a similar nature have been recorded on the internet.

Young people’s protests in Iran, which cost many lives several years ago, was proof of their frustrations and dissatisfaction of the Sharia of Islam which has made life unbearable for them.

Social restriction and corruption vary in Islamic countries depending on moderation or fundamentalism. However, Islamic countries feel like prisons in both cases when compared to the democratic countries. That’s why, when many young Muslims see democracy though the eyes of Christianity, they become more open to Christian beliefs.

What a wonderful opportunity for us to reveal the Truth of life in Christ to them and teach them that He is the absolute source of freedom in every aspect of life. He first said:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. (Luke 4: 18)

And then said:
Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. (Matthew 28: 19-20a)
Let us invest with the light and love of Christ into the lives of these young Muslims so that they can restore their God given dignity, shine to their families and communities, and become the means of Christ in freeing their nations. They are searching for freedom; we, the children of freedom, can reveal this to them.

A Christian Response to Islamists’ Persecution of Christians

Historical evidence and also our own life experiences have proven that nothing but the Name and knowledge of Christ will be able to set Islamists free from persecuting others who do not think or believe in their way. There is nothing in Islam to encourage Muslims to treat non-Muslims as equals. Even our own contemporary Muslim governments, who claimed to be civilized, have banned Christian evangelism in their countries and some have limited Christian religious practices. Saudi Arabia, the major supplier of money for building mosques and for the spread of Islam in all western and non-Islamic countries, has made all non-Islamic prayers illegal.  Non-Muslim expatriates are not allowed to practice their religions and pray in Saudi Arabia. When it comes to committed and radical Muslims, the treatments get very Quranic, which means that every non-Muslim should expect a pious Muslim to terrorize (Quran 9: 123).

For this reason, Islamists’ attitudes towards non-Muslims, in particular Jews and Christians, has always been harsher since the rise of Islam. Only those Muslims who had the opportunity to read about the outside world and compare it with their own beliefs had a different approach to Christians and Jews.

Molavi (Mawlana Rumi), the famous Persian poet and theologian (13th Century AD) read the Gospel of Christ, which influenced him highly and changed his view towards Christians and Jews. He writes numerous extraordinary poems about Christ and Christianity of which one says this:
The love of the infidels drew my attention, and because of that I am now smooth (loving), gentle and simple.
He is expressing himself in a poetic way, which is a most influential way of impacting others in the Middle East, bringing forth the meaning that Islam is wrong in calling Christians and Jews unlovely (infidels) whereas their love for humanity is wonderful.

As long as Islamists are unaware of the words of the Gospel of Christ and think that nothing is better than their Quran, they will continue to persecute non-Muslims to the utmost of their efforts. Their so-called best and unique Quran instructs them:
Slaughter non-Muslims until there is no more disbelief (in the whole world) and all submit to the religion of Allah alone. (Quran 8: 39).
The Quran is obligating Muslims to violate basic human rights and slaughter non-Muslims unless they join Islam. Violation of non-Muslims is part of Islamic law, Sharia. The only solution to combat the threat and violation condoned by Sharia is to open the eyes of Muslims to the truth of Jesus Christ. This is what most of our contemporary leaders in the West are unaware of.

The world’s most powerful nation, America, believed that Iraq would attain freedom if Saddam was overthrown. A similar thing happened with the United Nations concerning the Taliban and Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. What happened? Christians in Iraq lost even the slightest bit of freedom they had in the time of Saddam. Nothing has changed for the better in Afghanistan either.

Years of war with billions of dollars in costs against terrorism not only failed but fuelled the zeal of Islamists for further terroristic expansion. What went wrong with the western leaders and with their most powerful armies in the pursuit of their plans of destroying terrorism? Things went wrong because they did not know how to fight terrorism. They declared Islam a religion of peace, whereas Islam itself cherishes terrorism. Religious Muslim leaders, as well as committed and radical Muslims throughout the world, know that their Islam and Quran do not promote peace against non-Muslims. They took the declaration of these leaders as a sign of fear of Muslims.

All committed Muslims know that the very principle of Islam in dealing with non-Muslims is to stand firm and create fear among them. They pursued this principle and gained victory in many areas.  We can see today how the fear of western leaders strengthened Muslim terrorists in the pursuit of their plans and encouraged them to take steps beyond Afghanistan and become a global threat. Now terrorist groups are everywhere in the world. Fear has opened the door to all other kinds of Islamic terrorism, including cultural and social, within the West. For example, there is no opposition to Muslims freely speaking about their beliefs in western universities but Christians are no longer free to do so of their own beliefs.

Compare the battle of the western government with the battle of Christ which we have been pursuing in the last decade or so. My comparative teaching alone has led thousands of Muslims, including many radicals, to Christ and disarmed their hearts from the harshness of Islam. We also continually hear and witness how other followers of Christ, who have various evangelistic outreaches to Muslims, have been leading many thousands to Christ and bringing down the hostile wall of Islamic Sharia in the lives of many. Muslims will not be able to leave the hostile culture of Islam unless we show the truth of the peace of Christ to them. This is the real war the Muslim world needs, a war that seeks to win them to an all-loving God.

The war of Islamic terrorism will not come to an end with a war of armies. We Christians must follow the footsteps of our Chief Commander, Jesus Christ, against Islamists’ ignorance and reveal to them the message of freedom and hope. The greatest gift of Islam to its follower is death. That’s why committed Muslims look down on westerners for loving life, proudly proclaiming themselves to be lovers of death.  Therefore, the war in Islam is for the victory of death over life. This is quite different to the war of Jesus Christ. The war of Jesus Christ is for the victory of life over death.  Christ prefers Muslims to live in/for the Truth instead of dying in/for Islam. This is exactly the way Jesus Christ describes the victory of truth over death:
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8: 32)
It is, therefore, the Islamic dogma that has made Islamists aggressive, hostile and thirsty for death, either for their own death or the death of others. We can challenge their hearts by giving the message of Christ to them.

That’s why we are so grateful that Jesus Christ has given us the tools for this spiritual war; more influential than the weapons of the great armies of the world, so that we can rescue Muslims from the death of Islam and lead them to the Kingdom of Life in Christ.

The Joy of Christ Must Speak Louder

The Gospel of Christ is written to us so that our joy may be full (1John 1: 4) and overflowing, so much so that it pours out of our lives for the salvation and joy of others. The joy of Christ is generated in us for the creation of joy in others. Others will not get the message of joy from us unless we receive the full joy of Christ ourselves and communicate the reason He is the source and cause of our joy in all circumstances.

The revelation of Christ from birth to resurrection and ascension is all about bringing joy to nations. When the shepherds heard the news about the birth of Christ from the Angels and witnessed it with their own eyes, they started to speak about it publicly and marveled people with their joy and praises (Luke 2: 8-20).  The Apostle Paul said that he was overflowed with the joy of Christ despite all the problems surrounding him (2Corinthians 7: 4). The Gospel tells us again and again that even though the followers of Christ were poor and experienced much trouble, the abundance of their joy in Christ saw increased richness of their generosity (2Corinthians 8: 2).

So, the joy of Christ is for all circumstances, unfading and outshining. When the Spirit of Christ resides in us, the joy of His fellowship will fill our hearts and overflow from us to our surroundings. We won’t be able to keep from speaking and demonstrating His love when we receive His full joy.

The joy of Christ in us will speak with influential reason, expressing our confidence that Christ is the best in everything:

Our joy must speak for the person of Christ

His personal presence is the revelation of all truth so that no one is left in any kind of spiritual darkness which is the cause of agnosticism, ungodliness or any belief that see God as an image-less impersonal being that is practically irrelevant to the life on earth. Christ revealed God so that people could proclaim “Immanuel”, which means “God with us”. God is called unknown and non-functional in all other beliefs, but Christ made God known and introduced Him as the functional God who cares for His creatures and pays a great cost to release them from all kinds of bondage.

The person of Christ revealed the absolute truth in order to destroy the spiritual darkness perfectly so that people could have a spotless standard in their lives on earth in order to have a harmonious spiritual, political, social and moral life with others. That’s why the Gospel says that all things on earth and in heaven were reconciled to God and to one another through Christ. (Colossians 1: 20). Because, He is the superior standard.

As a result, every person in the world needs to know that the person of Christ is the source of victorious joy.

Our joy must speak for the beauty of Christ

Unconditional love is the beauty of Christ that has made the Word of God so appealing. The God fearing prophets of the Bible told of the sacrificial love of the Savior that would one day give His life for all, Christ. Such unmatched, unmerited love caused them to humble themselves and give full glory to the Christ who is able to love the world, including His enemies, unconditionally. Such unconditional love draws the attention of even enemies, with the power to draw them into a relationship with the One who brings true peace among humanity. Jesus never wills to lose anyone, no matter his/her race, nationality or belief. His character is to win all and reconcile them to Himself and, thereby, one another. He even reveals Himself to those who terrorize His followers, releasing them from hostility and enmity towards others into the peace and love for which He destined His creation. History has seen none who values life like Christ, even the lives of his enemies. The Gospel says that while we were His enemies, while we rejected Him, He loved us and gave His life for us (Romans 5: 10). We carry Christ’s beautiful heart in us in order to be the voice of His beauty to the world.

Our joy must speak for the infinite victory of Christ

Victory gives joy, but infinite victory gives infinite joy. So far in history, no one has been able to have absolute victory over evil. Since all other religions and philosophies did not have a better option, they eventually gave up and made evil a part of their spiritual diet. All pagan religions show great reverence to the Devil. Yin is the prince of spiritual darkness and lawlessness that Taoism respects, as much as it respects the prince of light, Yang. In Islam, the Satan and evil angels are used as Allah’s evangelists for spreading Islam. The contemporary dominant belief in the western world is that good and evil are highly subjective states; both are right. The teachers of these empty beliefs expect compliance and loyalty to their dualism; a highway to nothingness and death.

Jesus is different. The reason He revealed Himself was to destroy evil so people could live in a right relationship with God, receiving His peace here on earth and hope for eternity. He conquered the source of evil, Satan, in the world so that all nations could see His victory, put their trust in Him and become victorious (Matthew 12: 20-21). This infinite victory is the source of infinite joy. And, infinite joy is not silent.

Our joy must speak for the harmony between the doctrine and life of Christ

Almost all beliefs in the world teach that “the end justifies the means”. This is a self-centered ethic and it must be overcome by the Truth. Christ said, “But let your word be, Yes, yes; No, no. For whatever is more than these comes from evil” (Matthew 5: 37). What did He mean by this? That we are to be truthful with our words. Christ is truthful and does not twist His words. With a genuine “yes” or “no” he opens the door for a trustful, peaceful, love-based relationship. The belief “the end justifies the means” is a win-lose ideology that closes the door to trust and respect, exposing it to self-seeking motivations. The Gospel says, “But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness, nor adulterating the Word of God, but by the revelation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God” (2Corinthians 4: 2).

Compare this ethic with the dominant ethic in the world which has sheltered political correctness, craftiness and deceit, hurting all in one way or another. For Christ, a true belief must be pure and sincere, far from pretense and craftiness.

So, the revelation of Christ is to give victory to people and fill their hearts with joy. The joy of freedom in Christ from beliefs that fail to satisfy the heart’s longings is absolutely incomparable. People need to hear the message of this joy.

As the followers of Christ, we need to allow Christ to be the principal object of our joy in our own personal life and in our relationships with others. Then we cannot but express His joy loudly in word and deed.