Wednesday, October 17
At the writing of this article, the Middle East and North Africa region is in the middle of what has been called the "Arab Spring,'' with thousands of protesters in several countries calling for reform and an end to corruption. In most cases, protests were started by moderate, educated young adults who want functioning, secular democracies and the restoration of national dignity. In spite of cultural restrictions on the active participation of women in rallies and marches, their role has been remarkable.
However, the atmosphere of revolution has provided an opportunity for others with varying political agendas to take advantage of the unrest. These history-altering changes present crossroads for Christians in the Middle East. As minorities in every country in the region, their ability to influence the direction of their countries is limited, and they fear the possibility of the rise of extremist groups to power. They also fear that the role of the U.S. government is and will be affecting them negatively. Nevertheless, many churches and Christian institutions and individuals have responded to the changes with creative ministries of outreach to make known the love of God to all people.
Today, the Arab Spring presents a challenge to American Presbyterians to seek the mind of Christ about the Middle East and to participate in God's mission in that region.
Let us join in prayer for:
The Middle East Council of Churches: Mr. Guirguis Saleh, general secretary * The Fellowship of Middle East Evangelical Churches: Mrs. Roseangela Jarjour, general secretary * The Arab Group for Christian-Muslim Relations and Dialogue; and Forum for Development, Cultural and Dialogue: Rev. Dr. Riad Jarjour, general secretary * The Episcopal Church, Diocese of Cyprus * Evangelical Church in Morocco * Association for Cooperation in Tunisia for Education and Development (ACTdev)
Let us pray
Redeemer Lord, as we listen to news about the Middle East day after day, help us to discern the mind of Christ about this region and our role in making your love known to all peoples in it. Amen.