Evangelical pastor and author Joel Osteen said in a recent interview that his books are popular in Muslim countries. Speaking to Jeremy Hobson of the “Here and Now” radio program, Osteen said that Muslims are welcome in his church that “is about reaching out to everybody.”
"I have Muslims that attend our church and my books sell a lot in Muslim countries as well," the pastor said.
"I had a whole group of probably about 50 Muslims here at the service about two weeks ago, sitting right on the front row. They came, and we have good, good relationships. And I think part of our ministry is, our main theme is Jesus says love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as you love yourself. And I don't try to put people in a box — OK, they're Jewish or they're Catholic, they're this or they're that. I just say, 'you know what, they're somebody that God's put in our path for us to love,' and that's our philosophy.”
Ilsa M. Klein, writing for the Jewish Journal, said she believes Osteen appeals to those of other faiths because he is not a Christian Bible-thumper.
"He does not proselytize in a loud, Bible-thumping sort of manner. Instead, with a calming, reassuring voice, he delivers words of faith, hope and optimism based on a biblical foundation,” Klein wrote.
Osteen is the lead pastor of Lakewood Church, a Houston, Texas-based megachurch that hosts about 52,000 worshippers on a given Sunday.
Publication date: June 23, 2015