9.2. Fear for ourselves
The consequences of evangelism in different parts of the world range from being mocked or accused of intolerance through to arrest and imprisonment, and even death. Some Islamic governments such as Saudi Arabia or Iran derive their legitimacy from being a protector of Islam. If such a government allowed evangelism, it would in practice abandon its own professed reason for existence. Even if the individuals in such a government are tolerant to different opinions or different religions, they can’t publicly confess such tolerance (1 Corinthians 1:18). Even less radical governments like Egypt still take their legitimacy from religion, so they have to act as the protector of such religion.
Another reason for the outlawing of evangelism is that some governments are fearful of the backlash from Islamic extremists in their own country. This doesn’t only apply to Islamic countries but even in the west, where there are some places where evangelism isn’t allowed or at least frowned upon because the authorities are afraid of extremist anger.
For some Christians, the stakes are lower. Yet even in countries where evangelism is not illegal, they may risk ridicule or contempt. As a result, many Christians throughout the world are afraid to speak about Christ to Muslims. But the Bible reminds us that God’s love is better than life itself, and therefore we should indeed glorify Him (Psalm 63:3).