Alsace has the third highest percentage of concentrated immigrants in France, though not in terms of absolute population.
In addition, a good number of immigrants have become French citizens, and many of them Muslim. It is estimated 120,000 Muslims live in the Alsace area, which forms the Eastern Border with Germany. The largest Muslim communities are found in Mulhouse and Strasbourg. In Mulhouse, one person in four is from an Islamic background. One in five among the immigrants are Turkic. The Muslim community in Alsace is well organised. Their formerly improvised mosques are giving way to well built Islamic centres. A significant number of fundamentalists are making their impact on the Muslim community.
Where are the Christians?
Despite the strong presence of Muslims in the region, few mission agencies are present. However, there is a significant presence of believers in the area. Through their testimony, numerous Muslims have come to faith in the Messiah. Some are found in “Oasis groups,” which use culturally adapted expressions of the Christian faith.
A Testimony From Alsace:
I come from a modest Muslim family of Algerian background. I had an opportunity to read the Bible for the first time in my home country. I was especially touched by John 3:16, where I discovered that God is love. During my studies in France, I met a believer from a Moroccan background who brought me to an Oasis group. The testimonies given by group members inspired me to repent and draw near to God. I was baptized and I began living a new life in relation to a local congregation. God leads me, even through difficult circumstance, to a greater life in the Messiah.
A Poem, “He Inhabited the Depth of My Heart”
I beheld his light from afar
from behind the mountains, from behind the horizon.
He arose like the light of the radiant morning filled with joy.
He arose within my soul so filled with darkness,
my lost and confused soul, my soul that did not know the meaning of rest.
Yet he visited me like the gentle breeze.
Like the fragrance emanates through the hills. He visited me …
He inhabited the depths of my heart and settled there within.
He filled my soul with purity, with life.
He is Jesus, the tender compassionate one Jesus,
the source of my joy Jesus, the anchor of my soul.
I adored him since I first met him, and have melted in passionate love for him.
And how could it be other-wise? For he has loved me from days of old.
- Pray for open doors in the Muslim community and a well-adapted Christian witness.
- Pray for the dynamic efforts among the youth in several urban areas.
- About 30,000 Turks are in Alsace. They are hardly touched by the Gospel.
Listen to the Podcast – DAY 03 – Alsace France