Destinations: Arab-American Festival


Last year when we went to our local Arab-American event we were filled with no small amount of fear and trembling; after all, we had seen the video of an evangelism team persecuted at a similar festival in Michigan a few months before.

I asked my co-leader, Tom Nance-Ulrich (who has gone to many of these), what we should watch out for in this fair of predominantly Muslim people. “If the leaders figure out that you are an evangelist,” he cautioned, “they will send a guy over to ask you lots of questions to waste your time so that you can’t share your faith while in the festival.”

With eyes wide open we entered through the gates and traveled two-by-two.

After a couple of hours of conversations with friendly people and hundreds of Gospel tracts handed out, we noticed that Tom was missing. In fact, we hadn’t seen him since he issued that fateful warning to us—and it was time to go home.

“Where’s Tom? Anybody seen Tom? Toooommmmm?!!!!!”

Tom slowly emerged from behind a booth and joined us.

“Where were you, Tom? We  couldn’t find you and wondered what happened?”

“Oh, I was in a long conversation with a Muslim man who had a whole lot of questions,” he explained. “I thought it was important that I stay and answer him, and uh, uh….”

“Wait a minute, Tom….”

Tom shrugged his shoulders and offered a sheepish smile. “I guess they got me.”

What will happen this time? Find out by meeting us at noon at Hope Chapel to carpool to the 15th Annual Arab-American Day Festival at the Village Green Park, 12762 Main St. in Garden Grove.

Next evangelism training classes:

One Day class: Saturday, September 25,
9am-5pm @
Hope Chapel Del Rey in Westchester

6 Week class: Thursdays, starting September 30
at 7pm for six weeks.

More info: Email me at

NEXT WEEK: “The Awakening” Evangelism Conference at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and USC football


  1. Annoying people wasting time with a lot of questions?

    That sounds familar.

  2. You keep me encouraged Steve. Our booth (2 of them) are going up in the Pumpkin Fair in our city. Around 40-50,000 people will filter through over a two day period. The title of our booth is “He is watching you.” “What will you say on that day?”
    And we have two of the Einstein posters with the faces that appear to move.Intelligence tests and street preaching is on the agenda. We have to make good with the 8 people who came to the Academy in August. God bless you.

  3. Geez, Steve. Overreact much?

    the video of an evangelism team persecuted at a similar festival in Michigan

    Persecuted? You have some people who don’t want to be filmed. You have others who see a confrontational situation starting, and they want to nip it in the bud.

    Now, in both these festivals, you have a lot of people gathered for a specific purpose. Let’s take a similar situation – you go into a movie theater. Now, even if you buy a ticket, if you then walk up on stage, stand in front of the movie and start shouting, when you’re escorted out, you don’t get to claim that you’re being persecuted.

    Let’s add to that the fact that the Muslim community in America is justified in feeling persecuted, unlike the Christian community. Mosques are getting destroyed. People are going to New York to protest a community center modeled on the 92nd Street Y. Anti-Muslim sentiment is rampant in America.

    So when you walk in, intent on telling these “heathen” that their religion is false, you have to expect them to want you gone. Live with it. If what they’re doing is called persecution, then what you’re doing is exactly the same thing.

  4. Fundamentalist Christians have this habit of boasting about their super-majority in the country while at the same time pretending to be some kind of underdog. It’s weird.

  5. Nameless Cynic

    I doubt you really looked at the video, Acts17 had PERMISSION To FILM the Muslim at the booth while asking him a question!. The problem was the security butting into something that wasnt really their business!

    But why be bothered with the facts?

    Do you still justify the security hitting and slapping the video cameras(one of the them was held by a Lady)? and then the guards LYING to the police about it inspite of the video evidence?

    Also calling someone’s religion false is not persecution, thats like telling a political leader his ideas are bad..and then being arrested for “persecution” LOL

    Please read the 1st Admendment

    Will you protest when the Name of Jesus is blasphemed in a movie or a casual converstion? isnt that of itself a form of persecution against Christians?

    or do you hold a double standard that only applies to Muslims?

  6. Nope. Saw the video. You had the first shopkeeper (is that what you call a guy in a stall?) who said it was OK, but then later another guy said he didn’t want to be filmed, but the camera wasn’t turned off, just turned away.

    Regardless, I believe I specifically mentioned “others who see a confrontational situation starting, and they want to nip it in the bud.”

    Because, regardless of what you want to believe, stopping confrontations is EXACTLY the business of the security guards. And in this political environment, those confrontations tend to get loud and abusive quickly, because far too many people fall for the fallacy that all Muslims are terrorists, just because there are a few extremists.

    You want to complain about persecution? Then show me the crowds protesting when plans to build an Episcopal church are unveiled. I’d say that a pipe-bombed mosque looks a lot more like persecution than being told “No, you can’t hand out tracts here.”

    (I can’t remember if this site takes embedded links, so I’ll just throw them out there.)

    Incidentally – “thats like telling a political leader his ideas are bad..and then being arrested for ‘persecution’ LOL”
    Yeah. Nice joke.

    And no, I won’t protest over “blasphemy,” whether it’s a casual curse or a drawing of Mohammed. I don’t believe that anyone should be allowed to force others to conform to their religion.

    Because a curse in a movie definitely does not qualify as “persecution.” If your religion isn’t robust enough to stand up to a mild profanity, then your beliefs must be a trifle weak.

    (I will worry about valid concerns, though, like the political implications of 20% of the world’s population thinking that America is waging war on their religion – that inspires fanatics and martyrs.)

    So, no. I don’t hold a double standard. If you’re holding a quiet little gathering in the name of Christ, or Allah, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, as long as you don’t stray out of those borders, I have no issue. However, as soon as you start accosting people, then you enter into a different realm entirely.

  7. I would also ask you, if there was a Christianity festival, and a small group of devil worshipers, Satanists, showed up with a camera and began to speak out against your religion, and attempt to convert Christians to Satanist practices they would probably have been escorted out by security too because its abhorrent. Now I’m not comparing Christians to Satanists in the eyes of Muslims I’m merely using it as an example of an opposing religious viewpoint. We do have freedom of religion in this country and freedom of speech, but we also have property rights as well, just as those Satanists would be escorted out of a Christian Festival, Christians would be escorted out of a Muslim festival, I do agree, they shouldn’t have damaged their equipment or lied, there’s no excuse for that. But I agree with Cynic, Muslims do feel persecuted, because we have a tendency in America to stereotype them all the time. I know because I have a friend who’s Muslim, he’s not a terrorist he works in a video game store, he’s more on the secular side, not the fundamentalist side, and he is sick of fundamentalists making his religion look bad, as well as the broad general statements people in this country tend to make about Islam. Such as, building a mosque a certain distance from Ground Zero, a sight that has apparently ‘Become Holy’ to Americans. Bottom line, we have freedom of religion in this country, you can’t say Muslims don’t feel persecuted or have the freedom to worship when they’re not allowed to build a Mosque on private property.

  8. Nameless Cynic says:

    “Regardless, I believe I specifically mentioned “others who see a confrontational situation starting, and they want to nip it in the bud.”

    So free speech can now be “nipped” at the bud because some spectator who is not involved in the conversation can make a 3rd party accusation based on opinion and hersay?

    Since you came here to be confrontational about Christians being “confrontational” isnt that hypocracy? It really has nothing to do with you does it ?. Do you live in Dearborn?. where you at that festivial?
    Can you see into the hearts of those involved? So instead you sit and pass judgement with little knowledge.

    And for your information all but one charge was dropped from Acts17 trial, so under the Court of law with the evidence provided before a judge and jury their case with the exception of Nageen the 18 year old girl for not turing off her camera in nanosecond the police officer asked her, was DROPPED and FOUND NOT GUILTY!

    So where opinion really matters, in Law of the land they have been tried and found INNOCENT 🙂

  9. You’re absolutely right. No LAW was broken (you know, unless you consider things like common courtesy a law). The people were escorted out, turned over to the police, and no prosecutable charges were found. Happens every day. People screaming in concerts and acting the fool, chuckleheads running into churches and disrupting a wedding. No charges exist that make it worth the state’s time to prosecute.

    Doesn’t prove your point. Merely means that the courts didn’t act, and more taxpayer dollars weren’t wasted.

    Scroll back up and groove on what vintango said. Same point.

    Meanwhile, it doesn’t change the point that Stevie and Friends love their persecution complex. Build up elaborate fantasy worlds filled with fire-breathing heathens intent on martyring our Stalwart Heroes.

    I’m not going to look it up, but check Stevie’s post on bearding the Scientologists in their lair. Same thing. “when we went to our local Arab-American event we were filled with no small amount of fear and trembling”

    It’s stupid. It’s a self-fulfilling prophesy at best – you assume that the Evil Heathen will persecute you, you go in and disrupt what they’re doing, and then anything that happens is ‘persecution.’

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