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05 February 2016

Evangelical Christians encouraged to build bridges with Muslims

Evangelical Christians encouraged to build bridges with Muslims

The Evangelical Alliance is encouraging Christians to building bridges with Muslims in their communities in the face of a growing number of attacks against Muslims and mosques.

The call comes as the Muslim Council of Britain runs its second annual VisitMyMosque day in which British mosques open their doors to the general public, share tea and cakes and give people an insight into the day-to-day goings on in a Muslim place of worship.

Around 80 mosques from across the UK – triple the number that participated last year - will be opening their doors as part of the initiative this Sunday (7 February).

The Alliance believes that in order to truly fulfil Jesus' commandment to "love your neighbour", Christians need to better understand and make an effort to forge friendships with not just Muslims, but people of all faiths.

Steve Clifford, general director of the Evangelical Alliance, said: "As evangelical Christians, we believe in a just and loving God. So we cannot just stand by and watch as our Muslim neighbours are victimised or marginalised. We refuse to buy into the hateful narratives about Muslims which seem to be creeping their way into our society.

"Instead of hate, we choose to love our neighbours as we love ourselves. I'm personally heartened when I see communities where religious liberty is valued and Christians and Muslims live alongside each other well. Imagine how the places in which we live can be transformed by the gospel when Christians form genuine friendships with Muslims and people of all faiths and backgrounds in their areas."

While recognising the inherent differences between the two faiths, the Alliance is asking Christians to consider ways in which Jesus would have them engage with Muslims in their community.

Those who are keen to begin building bridges with Muslims in their local communities might also consider joining or starting a Mahabba group.

Alliance member the Mahabba Network focuses on engaging positively with Muslims in our communities, seeking common ground and demonstrating the love of Jesus to them.

Across the UK, there are several groups of like-minded Christians praying together regularly for Muslims.

"If visiting a mosque is something you feel you can't do, consider simply reading up a bit more about what Muslims believe through resources recommended by groups like Mahabba or simply inviting a person of another faith round for a cup of tea," Steve said.

The Evangelical Alliance is currently working on a new resource entitled Evangelicals and Religions, which is due out later this year.

For more information on Mahabba, visit www.mahabbanetwork.com

For more information on VisitMyMosque, visit www.mcb.org.uk/visitmymosque2016