A few years ago, I had the privilege of studying the history and culture of Indonesia as part of my studies at Bakke Graduate University. I spent ten days in that country with Ray Bakke and about a dozen other graduate students. During our stay, Ray pointed out that Islam did not come to Indonesia through Muslim clerics. It came via business and trade.
Michael Baer, in Business As Mission, writes: “I once asked an Indonesian Christian why the country had become so predominantly Muslim…She said that when the Western Christians came...they built missionary compounds and missionary churches and expected the Indonesian people to come to them. The Muslims, on the other hand, came as traders, farmers, merchants, and businesspeople and simply lived among the natives.”
Dr. Darrell Furgason, an expert in Islamic studies, says: “In places like Africa and Indonesia, the church has been intellectually crippled, with one hand tied behind its back. Western missionaries generally brought the Gospel in the way they learned it, as a purely soul-saving faith, with no real bearing on anything else—religion was a mostly personal matter, nothing to do with things like politics, science, law, economics….African people were given the Gospel, but not how to build a righteous nation, how to apply Christianity to everything….Muslims see their faith as all-encompassing…”
This leads me to follow-up on last week's post about what I learned from African educators earlier this month.
You see, while I was in Indonesia, one of my fellow doctoral students was an African by the name of Aila Tasse. Aila told me of the spread of Islam in Africa via business. His comment to me was: "The Muslims are winning."
When I returned home from Indonesia, I called Aila by phone and asked permission to record his comments for the benefit of others who need to know what is going on.
While in Kenya just a few weeks ago, I played Aila's comments for African leaders from Uganda, Nigeria and Sudan, and I asked if they concurred with Aila's report. Without hesitation, they all replied: "Yes! Absolutely! He is 100% correct!"
I urge you to take 2 minutes and 49 seconds to listen to Aila for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJppIj-Fnmc