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Open Door Project By Ed Hembree When Dr. David Snyder first explained the Open Door Project to the field directors, I recognized immediately the wisdom of emphasizing ready opportunities instead of constantly beating our heads against a wall and being frustrated in our efforts to go to countries or groups that are “closed.” It is obvious that God can open any door He wants and close any door He wants. That being said, it is also obvious there are many places where God has not seen fit to give free access at the present time. Dr. Snyder asked each director to emphasize just one open door from each of our fields. I initially thought of the many countries in Europe where we have no missionaries. Although missionaries with Baptist International Missions have been in Europe since 1962 and currently number 112 missionaries working in 19 countries, Europe is comprised of more than 50 countries. This means there are more than 30 countries where we do not have a missionary at all! With only a few exceptions, these are all open doors of opportunity. However, as I wrestled with focusing upon just one open door, the Lord directed my thinking to an opportunity that exists in ALL Europe! There is one great Open Door in Europe waiting for dedicated servants to walk through! That Open Door is “Euro-Islam!” There seem to be many missionaries interested in reaching Muslims with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The problem is that many of the Muslim countries are closed to foreign missionaries. Consequently, many of those called are spending a lot of time and effort to make forays into these closed countries for no more than a few weeks at a time. Those who have been involved in church planting, especially church planting among Muslims, recognize that short-term visits are largely unproductive. However, there IS an opportunity for long-term missionary work among HUGE concentrations of Muslims throughout all of Europe. There are places a missionary can go and build relationships, witness, and win Muslims to Christ, and train those who are called into the ministry. Then, those Muslims whom the Lord saves and calls can go back to their own people! The following statistics are taken from a Wikipedia article quoting a Pew Forum report called “The Future of Global Muslim Population,” published in January 2011. Obviously, the statistics are dated and the actual percentages of Muslims are considerably higher today. Since the 1960s immigrants from Muslim countries started to appear in Western European countries such as Germany, France, and Belgium. Although Muslim communities existed on the continent long before this, especially in the Balkans, no major wave of immigration of Islamic population ever took place before. 8 BIMI WORLD Number 3, 2014