The world’s largest hotel has 1.3 billion guests, and they’re all Muslims.
Like the mythical Hotel California in the old song, it’s a place where you can check in, but you can’t check out. Indeed, I would say that the tightest chains ever fastened upon human beings are the chains of Islam.
About 1993 I spoke with David Barrett, senior editor of the massive “World Christian Encyclopedia” and probably the planet’s most noted expert on church statistics. I asked him how on earth he came to his total of 14,000 Christians a month being martyred (not just in wars, but at a point of witness). “Who is doing all that killing?” I asked.
“Mostly Muslims,” he said, “in Muslim countries. And most of the deaths are never reported publicly.”
Since that time, martyr deaths have fallen off considerably, but the killing of Christians by Muslims goes on.
Look up the statistics on Saudi Arabia, to take the worst example, and you will find that the nation is 100 percent Muslim. (Not entirely true – we know of Christians there, but it’s pretty close.)
And how do the Saudis maintain such uniformity of belief? Simple. They kill the new Christians right away. If you’re a proper Saudi father, it’s your duty to kill your sons or daughters if they become “infidel” Christians. This deadly custom holds in other Muslim nations, too.
Now if Catholic or Protestant parents in America lose a child to the Moonies or Mormons or Muslims, they are sad and disappointed – sometimes grief-stricken. But they don’t even think of murdering their own kids, no matter how staunch they are in their beliefs.
Muslims are different animals. The current edition of the excellent Joel News International sketches the hair-raising stories of two men who left Islam and became Christians:
Zachariah Anani joined “The Youth of Ali,” a terrorist group, at 13 – with the blessing of his family. That blessing evaporated like a puff of smoke when he became a Christian at 17. His family disowned him. At that juncture, Zach says, his father “took the small Bible from my hand and shredded it, and slapped me two or three times and stepped backward – thinking I was going to jump him.”
“I said, ‘Nope. You hit me or you beat me, and I won’t change a thing. I’ll be a Christian.'”
Soon he was dragged to the local mosque, beaten and excommunicated. (I’ve seen some pretty crummy churches in my time, but none of them ever tried to solve their dropout problems that way.)
There were blatant attempts on his life. He says, “I was shot. I was knifed. I was poisoned. I was hit with a car. I was hit with sticks.”
Zach now lives in North America (that’s as specific as I’ll get). But even here, he’s been assaulted and continues to receive death threats from these sweethearts with their religion of peace.
The second man is Walid Shoebat, a former PLO operative trained in hand-to-hand combat.
You’d never want to meet a guy like Walid on the street. His stated mission was “to kill as many Jews as possible.” He started murdering people at 14, and within four years had accumulated “223 points” – a PLO term for 223 kills, two-thirds of them with daggers.
You might think this bloodbath would have won him lifelong honor as a jihadist and Islamist hero. But no, when his wife became a Christian and challenged him to disprove the Bible, he couldn’t do it, so he turned to Christ, and he is now forced to live in an undisclosed location. (His name isn’t really Shoebat, either.) You can read his story at shoebat.com.
Contrast this oppressive, Hotel California religion with the freedom and healing grace being dispensed throughout Mozambique by my friend Heidi Baker, a missionary who with her husband supports 4,500 orphaned children there.
When Heidi and her team of children and adults go out into the poverty-stricken villages, her reputation as a healer precedes her. Christians scatter out into the bush, knocking on doors, even in the middle of the night, asking, “Do you have any deaf people here? If you do, bring them to our meeting in the morning.”
When they come, Jesus heals them. Always. Muslim or Catholic or Protestant.
The villagers quickly figure out what’s happening. In town after town, the Muslim mayor will charge onto the stage, grab the microphone from Heidi’s hands and tell everyone that they will now follow this Jesus because He has proven himself to be God.
When there is no violence, Muhammad loses and Jesus wins.