It’s already more than a crisis – the thousands and thousands of Muslim refugees flooding into Europe.
So many issues remain unresolved: housing, employment, social conflicts and more.
But Joel Richardson says it’s a “privilege” for Christians now to share the Gospel with Muslims.
In the first episode of his innovative new show, “The Underground,” carried on WND TV, Richardson excitedly proclaimed, “These are the moments the church was created for.”
Richardson told believers not to be fearful or concerned about Muslims coming into Europe, but to view this as a unique way to avoid some of the biggest obstacles to spreading the faith.
As Richardson noted, the Islamic nations of the Middle East are practically an “unreached part of the world” when it comes to Christian evangelism.
The author of the New York Times bestseller, “Mideast Beast: The Scriptural Case for an Islamic Antichrist,” believes the refugee crisis may prove an unexpected boon for The Great Commission because it allows Christians to witness to those who are often too hard to reach in their native countries.
Richardson made the comments in speaking with “Wayne,” the president of Antecessor Rapid Response, who wishes to remain anonymous.
Antecessor Rapid Responses exists to improve the crisis response capabilities of emergency responders, especially churches and Christian organizations. Antecessor is currently providing packets to refugees entering Europe that contain the Scriptures.
As Wayne put it to Richardson: “The first responsibility is to spread the Gospel of salvation. Muslims are coming, whether we like it or not. The question is whether we want them coming with the Word of God or without the Word of God.”
Wayne told Richardson the historic relocation of huge numbers of people presents a priceless chance to advance Christianity.
“This migration of people, the largest since World War II, we’ve never seen anything like this in our times,” he observed. “This is an incredible, amazing opportunity for the church to rise, to meet this challenge of taking the Gospel to Muslims.”
Wayne believes the refugee crisis has the unexpected consequence of making evangelism to the Muslim world far easier.
“Generally, it takes years to get people into position into some of these places where these refugees are coming and even more time to get them the ability to share the Gospel with even a few people. But I could be standing tomorrow, and I’ve been to some of these transit points, literally handing out the Word of God to five, six, seven thousand people every day.”
Wayne also believes refugees will be uniquely open to the Christian message at this time of struggle.
“This is our opportunity to receive these individuals who are in need, who are willing to listen and who will listen,” he said.
He cites the experience of Christian evangelical efforts to Kosovar refugees, where those who were converted while in the West were able to later return home to their primarily Muslim country and help build a thriving evangelical community.
Richardson observed the refugee crisis will not be ending anytime soon, as the number of refugees trying to enter Europe each day is continuously revised upward. He also acknowledges Europe will suffer as a result of the mass influx of Muslims and the reality many of those entering Muslims are not even legitimate refugees.
“This is a massive demographic shift, there’s no question about it,” Richardson said. “Will there be terrorists among them? I have no question there will be. Will this, long term, affect Europe, will crime come as a result of this? I have no question there will be [crime]. But ultimately, as followers of Jesus, we are called to say, ‘How are we to respond with the Gospel? How would Jesus respond to this present refugee crisis?'”
Both Richardson and Wayne had a clear answer – with compassion and evangelism. And Wayne believes if Christians see the current crisis as an opportunity to practice and share their faith, the church will emerge “triumphant.”