There is no doubt that we are watching history in the making in the Middle East and North Africa. If there was ever a time to pray that God would protect his people there and build his church it is now. This is both a time of opportunity and peril for the church in this part of the world.

There are many unknowns as to how political change will impact the church. In many cases the regimes that have been in power have kept more radical elements of Islam at bay. With regime change, these groups, such as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt will seek to assert themselves. Radical Islam has no place for Christianity or freedom of religion which could mean huge pressure for Christ followers. In some cases, "democracy" could mean radical Islam!

The winner in this upheaval could prove to be Iran as it spreads its version of Islam and anti west, anti Christianity and hatred of Israel throughout the region. They believe that these events could herald the return of their great prophet who will usher in a pure world wide Islamic rule. And, there are elements in Iran who will do anything to help make this happen.

If the new order in the Middle East proves to be a more radical Islamic order, this will increase tensions with Israel. Today, two of its immediate neighbors, Egypt and Jordan have peaceful relations with Israel but that could change with regime changes. In that case, the Middle East will become more of a tinderbox than it currently is.

Hidden from view in all of these events is the fact that there are many Christ followers in each of these countries that are today under pressure - including Iran. There are believers in Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. God has quietly been building His church even in the most radical areas of the Middle East and will continue to do so. And, God uses the events of history to spread the good news (Acts 17:26-27). We need to stand with these believers in prayer as they walk through very uncertain times. 

As you watch the news of the Middle East, let it be a constant reminder to pray for God's people there, for their protection, for opportunities to share the good news and that God would continue to build his church. Pray also, that God would protect the many church planters and missionaries who work in this part of the world. Their work is hard in times of peace. It is harder in these current circumstances. Now is the time to pray.
  • Feb 21, 2011
  • Category: News
  • Comments: 0
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