Category Archives: Islam

Moving to London?

“Come over to … [Ilford!] and help us” (Acts 16:9).

Are you moving to London for work? Are you looking to buy in London but wonder how you can afford it with the property prices? Consider buying in Ilford for the sake of the gospel!  Recent data shows that Newbury Park and Redbridge are the most affordable stations to live close to in London.  They are both local to us at All Nations Church Ilford. More information here

If you want a nice house, this may not be the best place. If you want a big garden, Ilford may not be your top choice. If you want to hang out with lots of people like you, it’s probably not for you. If you want to play it safe, look elsewhere. If your goal is comfort and convenience, try south west London! But if you want to bring the good news of Jesus to a hard place, where there are lots of Muslims, and complete freedom to speak, then why not think and pray about coming to help us at All Nations Church Ilford.

We’ve been going for two and a half years, and have lots to thank God for, but we’re still praying for God to send us more keen Christians, who want to get stuck in to the unglamorous but glorious life of Christ’s church.

Love your neighbour

This is a lovely, true story. We need to keep telling stories like this.

“Reverend Kees Sybrandi was not, by any stretch, a model example of interfaith awareness and tolerance. When I asked him what he thought about Muslims, he complained that they had created a lot of trouble in the Netherlands. He complained about Muslims poverty, crime, urban blight, terrorism, and government dependency. A very conservative Christian, Pastor Sybrandi firmly insisted that Jesus Christ is the only way, the only truth, and the only life worth having. He insisted that Islam was a false religion and he called Allah a desert demon spirit.

Sybrandi’s attitude about Islam made his response to Theo van Gogh’s murder in 2004 all the more confounding. Across the Netherlands, tensions were running high; mosques and churches were being vandalized and even burned. In a curious response, Sybrandi stood up and walked to his neighbourhood mosque. He knocked firmly on the door and, to the shock of the Muslims huddled inside, he declared that he would stand guard outside the mosque every night until the Dutch attacks ceased. In the days and weeks that followed, the pastor called other churches in the area, and more and more Christian joined him, circling and guarding mosques throughout the region for more than three months.

But why? What possible reason would this conservative Christian give to explain his actions? What could have motivated him, of all people, to do this? Sybrandi showed little awareness of the more peaceful aspects of Islam. He showed no appreciation for Islamic culture, clothing, or food. He recounted no stories of past friendships or dialogues with Muslims. Nor did he profess that as a loyal citizen of the Netherlands it was his patriotic duty to show liberal tolerance towards Islam. He was not inspired by modern dogmas of liberty, equality, or fraternity. Multicultural appeals for a celebration of difference had little pull on his heart. When I pressed him to explain his actions, to give some account for why he would defend a religion he deeply disliked, Sybrandi simply replied, “Jesus. Jesus commanded me to love my neighbour – my enemy too”.

(p. 25-26, Christian Hospitality and Muslim Immigration in an Age of Fear, Matthew Kaemingk, emphasis added)