Muslims in the Capital of Country Music
Nashville, Tennessee, the Capital of Country Music, is home to 11,000 Kurds and 8,000+ Somalis and Somali Bantus, as well as other Muslim ethnic groups. The Nashville area has as many as 30,000 Muslims. Several years ago, a local pastor in Nashville felt burdened. “All around our city were new Muslim neighbours, people who had moved to Nashville from all over the world,” He said. “But as I looked more closely, I noticed most Christians here were ignoring them. Either out of lack of awareness, fear, or ignorance, members of the body of Christ just weren’t forming friendships with those whom God was bringing to our doorstep.”
So he began to learn as much as he could about these Muslims, their faith, and their world view. And whenever he could, he encouraged others to do so as well. As he met like-minded people who were reaching out, it dawned on him – there would be no real success in bridge-building for the Gospel unless God was at work. So he began to pray. “After a while, I realized that God was calling me to call others to pray – to pray specifically and regularly for Muslims in Nashville, as well as all around the world. Spiritual change occurs only through the power of God. And God’s power is released when His people pray.”
Home for Many Muslims
Like Nashville, many other cities in the United States have become the home of thousands of Muslims. Over the years, God has been raising up workers. Communicating, connecting, and shared resources have helped people to start reaching out. People have begun to welcome the new immigrants and specifically pray for them. Very few conversions to Christ have been reported, but increasing numbers are now curious seekers.
Several believers have begun living out and communicating their faith boldly and verbally to Muslims, while cultivating warm, trusting relationships. Prejudices and fear remain against Muslims in Nashville, even among Christians, but for some believers, Jesus’ call to make disciples has overwhelmed both fear and prejudice. Jesus rejected the prejudices of the Jews against the Samaritans, and reached out to the Samaritan woman correcting her theology and transforming her life (John 4:4-34).
- Pray for believers in Nashville to be more and more motivated to cultivate good wholesome relationships with Muslims. The followers of Islam are people with needs, problems, as well as cultural and religious preconceptions/baggage which make it hard for them to understand the Good News about Jesus. Muslim immigrants often have difficulties adapting to Western, individualistic, or urban culture. Followers of Jesus can offer real and appropriate friendship to Muslims caught between cultures.
- Ask God to give believers favour with Muslims in Nashville. Pray that He would begin significant movements of Muslims coming to Christ from among the many people groups in the city.
- Nashville is not unlike several large cities in the southern United States. You can also pray for Muslims in Memphis, Atlanta, and Louisville.
Listen to the Podcast – DAY 08 – Muslims in Nashville, Tennessee, USA