Australia for Islam!
An Australian visitor to a majority Muslim country was attending a Christian worship service when a young man approached him. “I hear you are an Australian”. His words in broken English had a note of urgency, “I want you to have this”. A strange looking key-ring exchanged hands. The symbolism was unmistakable. A small map of Australia surrounded by a large crescent moon. “I was a member of this Islamic Association in Australia before I came to Christ. Its motto is ‘Australia for Islam!’” The significance of the words were not lost on the Australian as he returned home to Sydney.
Muslim Growth in Australia
Sydney has more Muslims than any other city in Australia. From the 2000 census statistics of the total number of non-Christian religions in Sydney, Muslims represent nearly 40%. Almost 44% of Muslims are under 20 years of age and out of that number, the vast majority (85%) were born in Australia. The next two highest places of birth are Lebanon and Turkey. Of languages spoken exclusively at home, Arabic, Turkish, English & Persian (Iran) top the list. Between 1996 to 1999 the major source of Muslim immigrants were from Bosnia, followed by Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia.
Least Reached in Australia
Sydney has 20 major mosques, besides many other minor mosques and Islamic Centres. These are in suburbs where Muslims constitute a considerable percentage of the population. Some of these suburbs have state schools with a majority of students from Muslim families. There are also seven Muslim private schools.
It is not without significance that the only people group in Australia listed among nearly 1800 groups in the world classified as ‘Least Reached’ are the Turks, 99.9% of whom are Muslims, at least culturally. Added to this are the thousands of ‘boat people’ who are arriving in Australia illegally from Muslim countries, many of them hoping to settle in Sydney.
For several years a group of people committed to sharing Christ with Muslims have met regularly in Sydney for prayer seminars on Muslim Evangelism have been held in various suburbs across the city. With the Olympic year this has increased and a special team was formed to share the love of God with Muslim visitors to the Games. Direct evangelism using the Jesus film has been undertaken in several areas of Sydney and the more than 30 Arabic speaking Churches are becoming more aware of their special responsibility and opportunity to minister the Gospel. Indonesian and Iranian churches have begun to take up the similar challenge.
Prayer Guide for Australia
* That more Australian Christians will be inspired to pray for the salvation of Muslim neighbours. That more Sydney Christians will wake up to and accept the challenge to be “Living Letters of Love” to Muslims.
* Pray that churches in Sydney will welcome new Muslim convert believers. That the team formed for outreach to Muslims at the games will continue to be used to stimulate missionary vision among Australian Churches to reach out to other groups throughout the world.
* Pray that God would soften the hearts of the Muslims in Sydney and that they would be open to message of the gospel.
Background on Australia (World Factbook)
The first Europeans began exploration in the 17th century. No formal territorial claims were made until 1770, when Capt. James COOK took possession in the name of Great Britain. Six colonies were created in the late 18th and 19th centuries; they federated and became the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901. The new country took advantage of its natural resources to rapidly develop agricultural and manufacturing industries and to make a major contribution to the British effort in World Wars I and II.
Economy of Australia
Australia has an enviable Western-style capitalist economy with a per capita GDP on par with the four dominant West European economies. Robust business and consumer confidence and high export prices for raw materials and agricultural products are fueling the economy. Australia’s emphasis on reforms, low inflation, and growing ties with China are other key factors behind the economy’s strength. Drought and strong import demand pushed the trade deficit up in recent years, although the trade balance improved in 2006. Long-term concerns include pollution, particularly depletion of the ozone layer, and management and conservation of coastal areas, especially the Great Barrier Reef.
Population: 22,262,501 (July 2013 est.) World Rank #56
Life Expectancy at Birth: 81.98. World Rank #10
Ethnic groups: Caucasian 92%, Asian 7%, aboriginal and other 1%
Religions: Catholic 25.8%, Anglican 18.7%, Uniting Church 5.7%, Presbyterian and Reformed 3%, Eastern Orthodox 2.7%, other Christian 7.9%, Buddhist 2.1%, Muslim 1.7%, other 2.4%, unspecified 11.3%, none 18.7%
Languages: English 78.5%, Chinese 2.5%, Italian 1.6%, Greek 1.3%, Arabic 1.2%, Vietnamese 1%, other 8.2%, unspecified 5.7%
School Life Expectancy: 20 years
Middle Eastern Youths in Sydney Australia – Video
Talks by rapper and Muslim Napoeleon of Outlawz about problems living in Sydney and racism on all sides.