Recently freed from Iranian prison, Iranian-American pastor Saeed Abedini has warned Christians that if they don't reach out to Muslims with the "love of Jesus Christ," then Muslims will reach them with jihad, The Christian Post reports.
"If we don't reach [out to] Muslims with the love of Jesus Christ, they will reach us with the love of Allah, which is jihad," Abedini wrote on his Facebook page on Sunday.
A former Muslim, Abedini embraced Jesus Christ when he turned 20. He then felt a calling for him to plant and grow churches in his native Iran despite the danger that this undertaking would entail.
He was subsequently arrested for his evangelisation work and spent three years and a half in prison in Iran.
In previous statements, Abedini denounced the teachings of Islam, pointing out that it's a "lie" to believe that Islam is a peaceful religion.
"If Muslims say: we are peaceful, 'it's a lie.' The Qur'an teaches that Muslims must fight and kill (jihad) unbelievers," Abedini wrote last March following the Easter Sunday terror attacks on Christians in Pakistan.
He cited a verse in the Quran (2.Sura Al _Baqarah (Cow) 2:190-193) stating that "Islamic law rules all societies." The verse also included a call to Muslims to try and convert Christians and Jews to Islam "or kill them" wherever they are in the world, Abedini added.
He said Muslims who are peaceful and do not believe in violent jihad are following a "new religion."
"ISIS, al-Qaeda, Taliban, Islamic Republic of Iran are practicing the real Islam by destroying churches and killing Christian[s] every day," the pastor wrote last March.
He claimed that there is no region in the world where Islamic societies are coexisting with other religions in peace.
Abedini's statements appear to contradict those of Islamic scholars. For instance, Muslim Judicial Council of South Africa President Maulana Ihsaan Hendricks said the Islamic teaching in the Quran states that, "Whoever kills a person, it is as though he has killed all mankind. And whoever saves a life, it is as though he had saved all mankind."
However, Hendricks said terror groups refuse to respect this teaching.