Jerry Rankin, the president emeritus of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board, recently offered some advice to Christians during the Islamic holiday of Ramadan, which begins this Thursday and lasts for a month.
Rankin notes in an article published by Christianity Today that he has studied Islam and lived in Indonesia with his wife for several years.
Rankin wrote, "During Ramadan, we found our Muslim friends were more open to talking about spiritual things."
Rankin described how Muslims were converted to Christianity by having dreams and visions of Jesus.
Rankin admitted being irritated with the sounds of calls to prayer by Muslims in Indonesia five times each day, but recalled how "it became a call to us and a reminder to pray for Muslims as they were praying to Allah."
In his article, Rankin asked Christians to pray for the conversion of Muslims during Ramadan: "What if Christians fervently prayed during the month of Ramadan that God would reveal himself to Muslims in this time of seeking?"
Later in his article, Rankin suggests Islam justifies terrorism by Muslims.
However, ThinkProgress.org reported that numbers from Europol, the European Union's law enforcement agency, found less than 2 percent of terrorist attacks committed in Europe between 2009-2013 were religiously motivated.
Charles Kurzman, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, wrote, "In 2014, four terrorism-related incidents involving Muslim-Americans – two using firearms, one a knife, and one a hatchet — killed seven people in 2014, bringing the total number of fatalities in the United States from terrorism by Muslim-Americans since 9/11 to 50. Meanwhile, the United States suffered approximately 14,000 murders in 2014 and more than 200,000 murders since 9/11."
Rankin concludes, "Join me this month in praying for Muslims in our own communities as well as those around the world. Pray that they would truly seek God and be open to revelation that would lead them to the truth."
The Friendly Atheist wonders what the reaction would be if this praying were reversed: "Can you imagine how furious Rankin (or any other Christian leader) would be if a Muslim publication dared to say the exact same thing? On Christmas, we can teach these Christians about Allah and the Prophet Muhammad!"