Christmas trees are now part of life for many Muslim, Buddhist, and Sikh immigrants. Although they may not know, or may disagree with the religious aspects of holidays, they enjoy the festivities.
But some immigrants want to know more about American holidays. They are asking questions. For example, international students have asked me, “What’s the difference between Thanksgiving and Christmas?”
America prides itself on equal opportunity; yet in trying to be neutral, our schools have created an insider information situation. Old time Americans know about our holidays. We pass it to our children. But unless they go looking for answers, newcomers and outsiders stay clueless.
“Is Christmas about more than Santa and presents?”
Sharing Christmas with newcomers to America is my current source of holiday joy. It could be yours too.
For example, in Saudi Arabia there is no opportunity to attend the ballet. So, I doubly enjoy introducing Middle Eastern students to the Nutcracker and other holiday festivities. While I may be comparing it with previous performances, they are as amazed with it as children on Christmas morning. Its newness and beauty move them.
More importantly, I share the Christmas story and gospel with them. Sometimes I take them to church. An Iranian Muslim friend, a working single mom said, “I’m delighted with all the people lighting their houses and streets to celebrate Christmas. I joined some of my friends and went to church; the spiritual atmosphere made me cry.”
In America, Muslims and others are finally free to learn and believe what they choose. Some choose to become Christians, and their first Christmases fill them with child-like glow.
For example, with radiant face, former Muslim Huda told me, “I love Christmas even more now. It has a whole new meaning to me. I’m celebrating, and the happiness is coming from my heart!” (You can watch this real moment captured on film in our Christmas video lesson on www.ChristianfromMuslim.com.)
A Saudi Arabian student who came to the Lord after six years learning about Him in America summed it up. She said to me, “The day Jesus was born, light and hope and joy were born into this dark world. This Christmas will be my second as a believer in the Lord Jesus. I’m so thankful that God saved me from the darkness of Islam to His marvelous light.”
Refugees and immigrants still consider America to be a Christian country. They want to know what Christians believe. Let’s use the opportunity of Christmas to answer their questions, and share with them the gospel truth that God brought them here to discover.
For more ideas about bringing Muslims to Christ, see www.ChristianfromMuslim.com.
Dr. Cynthia has been involved with ethnic evangelism in the USA for over four decades. Although American and not from the Middle East, her experience, personal, and professional connections with the Muslim World help her to understand and connect with Muslims. A board-certified physician with decades of experience in America and overseas, Dr. Cynthia is now retired from medicine, and, besides hosting for www.ChristianfromMuslim.com, she directs American Ethnic Ministries, and is still active in personal evangelism, organizing outreaches, writing tracts and devotionals, and discipling new believers.