In many countries, nationality and religion are practically synonymous. This is especially true for Somalis.
Todd Nettleton, Chief of Media Relations and Message Integration for Voice of the Martyrs, recently interviewed Ibrahim, one of the first ethnic Somalis to come to Christ in Kenya.
Nettleton explains that Ibrahim’s story is important for the American church to hear, “But also for the Somali community. We want to tell his story to people who believe that to be a Somali is to absolutely to be a Muslim [and that] there’s no other choice. Ibrahim’s story illustrates the fact that no, there is a choice; you can be Somali and also be a follower of Jesus Christ.”
A Preacher and the Koran
Ibrahim first encountered Christ during a Christian Worker’s rally in 1969.
“Ibrahim was actually a policeman in Kenya. He was assigned to go this large gathering where a lot of people had gathered and a missionary, a Christian missionary was speaking. As he spoke, he read a passage from the Bible. it was actually a passage from the Old Testament. And Ibrahim recognized this, it was actually a passage that was echoed in the Koran.”
Suddenly he was filled with questions. Christians are supposed to be very different than Muslims. They shouldn’t be preaching from the Koran.
Ibrahim needed answers. He sought out a pastor friend of his who could explain why this passage was similar. He opened up the Bible and showed Ibrahim the whole story.
“That was the start of Ibrahim coming to Christ because he thought you know, ‘If the Koran just echoes what is already in the Bible, I don’t want to read the copy, I want to read the original. I’m going to go back and study the Bible,” Nettleton says.
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Anna Deckert