An evangelist's mission in the Muslim world

Last Updated Aug 7, 2017 12:38 PM EDT

James Brown's full "CBSN: On Assignment" report -- "Muslims Love Me"  -- aired Monday, August 7 on CBS, and on our streaming network, CBSN.


An unassuming 86-year-old evangelist is sharing a message of healing around the world.

Marilyn Hickey has visited 136 countries to spread the gospel. For years she has made it her special mission to reach out to several predominantly Muslim countries, like Pakistan, Sudan and Egypt, to try to build bridges of peace and understanding.

Her mission, she says, is "to cover the Earth with the Word."  She doesn't use the word "convert" (she said that's a dangerous word). Her job is to transform.

She invited "CBSN: On Assignment" on her eighth trip to Pakistan, to the city of Lahore. James Brown traveled with her last month and learned how her message is received in the Muslim world.

Hickey has become an unofficial ambassador to Muslim countries, and she has found a kindred spirit in the Grand Imam of Lahore -- one of the most powerful spiritual leaders in Pakistan.

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Marilyn Hickey in Lahore, Pakistan. The 86-year-old evangelist has become an unofficial ambassador to Muslim countries, trying to build bridges of peace and understanding.

CBSN

On this day, he welcomed her for tea at his home.

"We are very clear and convinced that your coming here, that will be the source of blessings for all of us," the Grand Imam said.

After tea, Hickey and Brown headed back to the cars to visit the Badshahi Mosque, a Persian architectural wonder. 

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The Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, Pakistan. 

CBS News

The Grand Imam leads this 344-year-old mosque, the oldest in Pakistan.

He took a couple of questions on the sacred grounds.

"Is Marilyn Hickey's visit and what she's established and created here as effective, or more effective, than politicians?" Brown asked.

"The politician, they are coming with their own programs, their own agendas," he replied. "But when it comes to the religious leader, when it comes to the mom, so she brings love for the people of Pakistan.

"So I understand and I'm convinced as a religious leader that her love and her visit is more effective than other people."