War and strife
The past six years have seen parts of the Arab world uprooted. It began with revolution in Tunisia, then Egypt and Yemen. War came to Libya, then Syria. Intense protests erupted in Bahrain. War eventually came to Yemen, too.
Very few countries in the Arab world have remained completely untouched by social and political unrest. This diagram, if accurate, shows that twenty-one countries or territories experienced at least sporadic protests between 2011 and 2016. Clearly, the people of this region are hungry for change, even if their governments have managed to hold it back.
Peace in Christ
In an earlier post, we wrote about how God is using dire circumstances like these to bring Muslims to himself. In this post, we want to share some evidence of this in the form of quotes received from seekers earlier this year…
Just imagine! One of the sheikhs said that committing adultery was less serious than not performing the dawn prayer! It’s crazy! Then there is the demeaning attitude towards women. But if you listen to the Pope, he is calling for love and peace among all people. Yet what you hear in the mosques is completely different to that. Ever since I spent time in Europe, I began to compare the different religions. And all the more so when I returned to Yemen and saw that the Muslims were claiming they were the best people, and yet they were killing each other. I’m thinking about these things and of believing in Jesus as Saviour.
When you spoke to me about Jesus and his love and how he sacrificed himself to atone for our sins, my heart was touched and I wept. I went out for a walk and I sensed that he was near to me, that he saw me. When I came home, I found your website again and continued our conversation. What you said confirms to me that God loves us and that he was prepared to sacrifice himself for us and that it is now simple for us to come into his presence. In Islam, it’s completely different.
I feel something new inside me, giving me a sense of peace and joy. I ought to be afraid of my family’s reaction, but I am not. I am so much at peace. I have a new source of strength within me.
I am a believer in Christ and have been for seven years. But in my own country there was no way I could become a Christian. The churches did not help me. But now I am in Turkey. I want to meet someone who can help me enter into Christianity and so complete my faith.
Do these quotes give you fresh hope for the Arab world? They certainly encourage us! We are nearly halfway through the year, but amazingly, more people have come to faith in Christ in these first six months than for the whole of 2016!
What to do now
Today we ask you to share the hope that is in the Arab world. Pick a quote and share it with one or more friends. Spread the news that Muslims across the Arab world are waking up and finding Christ.
Make a comment below or use social media to let us know your thoughts about today. Use the hashtag #RethinkingRamadan.
Tomorrow we’ll reassess with a quiz about the different branches of Islam.