Episode 55

#55. Celebrating Christmas as a Religious Minority in Djibouti

Rachel Pieh Jones discusses four common questions about Christmas from Muslims in her community and she offers ways American Christian families can grow closer to Jesus by learning from the global Christian community.

Rachel offers tips for families about how to make new Christmas traditions, all while she sheds light on her family's experiences celebrating Christmas where Christians make up less than 1% of the country, Djibouti.


  • Four Questions that Muslims and Other Non-Christians May Have about Christmas
  • About Finding Commonality in What the Quran Says concerning the Birth of Jesus
  • Tips for Families Creating New Traditions and Celebrating Christmas on the Move, Abroad or at Home


Episode: #13 Are God and Allah the Same? A Christian Midwesterner’s Reflections on Her Journey in East Africa, in Muslim Majority Countries


Rachel Pieh Jones writes about life at the crossroads of faith and culture. Her work is influenced by living as a foreigner in the Horn of Africa, raising three Third Culture Kids, and adventurous exploration of the natural world. She has written for the New York Times, Runners World, Deadspin, the Big Roundtable, and more. They moved to the Horn of Africa for her husband to work at local universities and help to develop courses and programs. Currently they direct an international school.

Rachel is the author of Pillars: How Muslim Friends Led Me Closer to Jesus.




01:02 - Topic: Christians and Muslims Together at Christmastime

02:07 - Family, Faith and Culture

03:13 - Christmastime Trends in Djibouti

04:35 - Church on Christmas Eve

04:58 - Armed Soldiers outside Church Services

06:25 - Personal Christmas Traditions

07:20 - How Do Some Muslims See Christmas and Cultural Symbols

08:47 - Questions that Muslims May Have about Christmas

09:26 - 1. Worshiping Trees?

09:33 - 2. Jesus Dressed Up as a Jolly Man with a White Beard?

10:01 - 3. Why Isn't Jesus' Birth Celebrated Like Other Prophets in the Quran?

11:11 - Why Does Jesus' Birth Matter?

13:34 - Jesus' Birth in the Quran and the Bible

14:50 - Asking Questions and Being Curious about Similarities

15:30 - 4. How Was the Son of God Conceived?

16:31 - For Christian Families in America: Lessons from Abroad

16:50 - The Importance of Humility, Curiosity and Delight

17:32 - Learning from Christmas Traditions around the World

18:47 - Inviting International Friends for Christmas

19:18 - For Missionary Families: Tips for Celebrating Christmas on the Move

22:34 - Jesus through Middle-Eastern Eyes

23:56 - Contacting Rachel Pieh Jones on Twitter

24:37 - Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha: Five Djibouti Jokes


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