How many Syrian refugees become Christians? Evangelical churches who assist in the resettlement efforts should be seeing a huge revival by now. But things aren’t exactly going according to plan.
Finland, a small Nordic country of about 5.5 million, accepted 300,000 refugees in 2015. A Finnish Christian newspaper, Uusei Tie, conducted a survey to investigate interest in Christianity among Muslim refugees. They reported:
The survey covered 165 Lutheran churches, selecting those where there is a reception centre within the parish area. The senior pastors were asked how many Muslim asylum seekers had been baptised among those who arrived to Finland in the autumn of 2015. 128 responses were received. In these churches a total of 117 Muslims had been baptised.
Should I pretend to be overjoyed about 117 baptisms? I know that Jesus taught, “there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” (Luke 15:7) But Jesus also told us the parable of the sower:
Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” And he said, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”
There’s over 300,000 refugees in Finland. That’s a big ol’ mound of soil. And the Evangelical Lutheran church can only scrape together 117 converts? That isn’t even one-fold. Should we blame the seed or the soil?
To make matters worse, while the Evangelical church is trying to coral these foreign sheep into the pen, the sheep already in the fold are fleeing for their lives!
The BBC News, in an article on Finland’s anti-immigrant sentiment, reported that:
On 2 September, the head of the Finnish Lutheran Church, Archbishop Kari Makinen, urged members to take in refugees.
Soon after, 196 people resigned from the Church in one day, compared to 80 people on a typical day.
“As the Finnish Church wants to help house IS fighters in Finland, I do not accept it,” one person wrote on a website through which members can resign.
“The Church no longer defends Christian values, they support Islam’s entry into Finland. Shame on you fools,” wrote another.
So while it took months for the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church to gain 117 converts among Muslims, they lost more than that among native Finlanders in one day.
But I want to get back to the original question. How many Syrian refugees are becoming Christians? Reading through these two articles, I noticed something interesting. Read this clip from Uue Tie and see if you notice:
One Lutheran pastor, who speaks Arabic as his mother tongue, has baptised 18 Muslims since last autumn in the Helsinki area, and five persons are in the process of getting baptism. These are all Iraqis.
He gives them a baptism course, which is about 45–50 hours long. There are more people hoping to join the baptism classes than what he can take.
“Even 40–70 baptisms would be possible, but I can’t teach them all by myself, because it takes time. I would need more people to teach them”, the pastor said.
Muslims are tired of Islam, he says. Now, in a foreign country they are free to choose Christianity. Some families accept the conversion, but other families disown the baptised member.
Do you see? There’s no mention of Syrians. The article says, “These are all Iraqis.” And the September 2015 BBC article says the same:
Last week, Finland’s government said it was willing to double the number of refugees it was willing to accept this year, up to 30,000 from 15,000.
Only 3,600 applications were made last year – and so far this year, most applications were from Iraq and Somalia.
Hold on. We’re shown pictures of a bloodied little girl from the war zone in Aleppo, Syria. Then if we hesitate for one second to agree to a massive resettlement of Syrians, we’re subject to the scorn that should be directed at whoever bombed her.
But now that Finland has agreed to allow in Syrian refugees, they get a bunch of Iraqis and Somalis?
Talk about a bait and switch.
Even if the refugees didn’t come from Syria, they all came from Muslim countries. Islam caused the conditions they fled.
So what can we make of the fact that so few of these so-called refugees are seeking refuge from Islam in Christianity? I’d say they’re not really refugees at all!
Think about it. You’re living in some middle eastern Muslim hell hole. Your neighborhood is half rubble because of constant gunfights between Suni and Shites. The local Iman patrols the streets like a mob strongman. He’ll beat you if you don’t grow your beard, he’ll whip your boys for playing music, and he’ll splash acid in the face of your girls for not wearing a burkah.
So you abandon them and make a trans-continental trek to Finland.
There, you seek asylum. While you’re waiting, the Red Cross houses and feeds you in its reception center. The government, whose flag bears a cross, pays for this. Then on top of that, here come volunteers wearing cross jewelry to serve you.
And what’s your response? Do you inquire about that cross? No. You demand to hear the daily Islamic call to prayer. You demand a place to wash your feet, and to eat Halal meat. Then when you see some hot, scantly clad, blonde chick walking by, you rape her.
To me, that doesn’t really sound like you’re seeking refuge from your problems. You’re bringing them with you. It’s like a guy running from the smell of farts while farting.
This makes the whole refugee system pointless.
We can do more to actually help Syrians while keeping them in Syria. And we’d get more than 117 of them baptised. But that would require us to identify the Prophet Mohamed as the problem and Jesus Christ as the solution. Are you bold enough to do that?