Conference on Adventist-Muslim Relations in Sarajevo
24 April 2012 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina [Lidija Djordjević-Runić; tedNEWS] Over one hundred participants gathered on 23-25 March 2012 in Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) for a Mission Conference. The conference was organised by the conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Adventist Mission department of the South-East European Union Conference (SEEUC). It was attended by leaders and members of the church from all districts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as delegates from other conferences of the Union.
The main speaker of the weekend conference was Petras Bahadur, the Adventist-Muslim Relation associate director in General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (GC). Instead of pointing out differences Bahadur’s approach is to find common grounds. He believes that the key to the ministry to Muslims is found in our identity, which should be utilized for building bridges. Most Muslims are unaware that the Seventh-day Adventists are the end-time movement group of Christians who actually have much in common with Islam. Bahadur used the Koran to illustrate that this book actually points to the Bible and encourages every Muslim to read it. The Koran also highly appreciates Jesus and points to him as the only sinless prophet.
The participants were eager to learn more about the means of fulfilling the mandate of Jesus by reaching out to over six million Muslims in the South-East European Union. Union president, Djordje Trajkovisi, reminded us: “God does not have other hands but ours to do His work!” Laszlo Gallusz, Adventist Mission (AM) director at the SEEUC, reminded us that the basic missiological principle is that God reaches people where they are – and this principle applies strongly to the “how to” of the AM relations.
This conference was an eye-opening experience. A member of the Adventist church in Sarajevo, who is married to a Muslim, spoke of this conference as an answer to her many prayers! Her husband attended almost all of the sessions of his own initiative. He commented in a private conversation: “This is a positive development in the Adventist church. We need more of these meetings in order to get to known each other.”
Bosnian conference president, Stevan Mirčeta, was very enthusiastic about bringing Bahadur back to Bosnia. He commented: “This conference was an important first step, but not the only one, and definitively not the last.” At the end of the conference Mirčeta made an appeal and many came forward for a special prayer of dedication for ministering to our Muslim neighbours. May God help us to put into practice what we learned!
For more information about the work in Bosnia and Herzegovina, please click here. [tedNEWS]
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