Thus, to the extent that the United States government is even engaging in the war of ideas, it is not doing a very effective job. As Robert Reilly, a former director of the Voice of America has said, “…the U.S. government has failed to show up for the war of ideas. Strategic communication or public diplomacy, the purpose of which is to win such wars, is the single weakest area of U.S. government performance since 9/11.”
Enter the Christians. With limited dollars and a limited goal, American Christians are having far-reaching success that few outside their circle know about. Their goal is to bring the message of Christianity to as many people as possible. That used to mean sending missionaries to far-flung and often dangerous places. But increasingly, Christian groups are putting the tools of social media and technology to work for their cause. And unlike the U.S. government’s efforts, their messaging is having a profound resonance in the Middle East and Africa.
Take, for example, Isik Abla, a charismatic and bubbly Turkish woman who converted to Christianity from Islam and now broadcasts daily into Muslim-majority countries. Isik’s book, I Dreamed Freedom: An Abused Muslim Girl’s Journey to Find Freedom, describes her dysfunctional family, rife with addiction, abuse and infidelity, and her eventual conversion to Christianity. Today, she shares that story openly with Muslims, and rather than chastising them with messages like “Think Again, Turn Away,” she offers messages of empathy, hope, and love. A recent post on her Facebook page, says, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” She uses hashtags that include #GiveittoGod and #YouareLoved!! It is a message people are responding to well: her Facebook page has 1,654,111 likes.
Read the rest here...