Fear of Muslims inspired by Islamist terrorist attacks is putting Christians off evangelising them, according to missions veteran George Verwer.
Verwer, 79, who started Operation Mobilization more than 60 years ago and saw it grow into one of the world's most significant mission organisations, was speaking at the Christian Resources Exhibition at Sandown Park, Esher, Surrey.
He said: 'Too many people are frightened and talking about terrorism – but we must see the positive side.
'The terrorism fanatics do not represent Islam. Their greatest enemies, in fact, are other Muslims. We need to reach Muslims with the gospel and not be sidetracked.'
He continued: 'So many Muslims are coming to Christ and that far outweighs the horror. There is a lack of people today who study history – and do not realise that there have been so many genocides.'
Verwer became a Christian at the age of 16 at a Billy Graham rally and immediately flung himself into evangelism. He began Operation Mobilization with summer outreach programmes in Europe and then launched its first ship. As well as evangelism, the ships help with relief work and the Logos Hope is currently in the Caribbean helping after the hurricanes that have devastated the region.
Today OM operates in 85 countries with 3,500 workers and thousands of volunteers.
It is one of about 200 Christian organisations exhibiting at CRE.