By a member of the Media team
King of Kings, Majesty,
God of Heaven living in me,
Gentle Saviour, Closest Friend…
So begins the beautiful worship song that we sang last Sunday at the beginning of our service. In August 2008, a meeting of more than 200 African kings and traditional rulers bestowed the title ‘King of Kings’ on the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. The rulers, wearing gold crowns, sequined capes and colourful robes met in the Libyan town of Benghazi in what was billed as a first of its kind. Col Gaddafi urged the royals to join his campaign for African unity. (BBC News, 29 Aug 2008).
Three years later and Gaddafi is dead, in humiliating circumstances. Yet Jesus’ death was not so different, for he suffered the fate of a common criminal in a brutal and painful execution, hanging for six hours on the cross, abandoned by almost all his friends and mocked by his enemies.
The goal of Arab World Media is to bring the message of Jesus King of Kings, risen and victorious, offering forgiveness of sins and eternal life, to the peoples of the Arab world. We have great opportunities to do this through modern media: our ministry website, TV and radio programmes, Facebook and mobile phones… This witness through the media complements the face to face testimony of believers, both expatriate and national, in the countries of the Arab world. It also touches those who live in the worldwide Arab diaspora – in Europe, North America, Australia…
Is it effective? Khalid from Morocco wrote to us in July 2010, telling us that he had believed in the Lord and wanted to grow in his faith and to teach his family. We replied and soon asked national friends in Morocco to contact him personally. Earlier this month, we learnt that he had been baptised!
There are many opportunities for people in the Arab world to find out about the gospel – from zapping to find a Christian satellite TV station to searching for ‘Jesus’ on the web. Now, when people email us, it is often because they have already been searching and want to meet a Christian face to face. In some countries, where nationals once believed that there were no Christians, it is now common knowledge that there is a national Christian minority.
Hassan from Yemen corresponded with one of our team. He had had recurring dreams of Jesus, and also hoped for a better life outside the country. After some good exchanges, we asked a friend there to contact him. Carl, an expatriate believer, got in touch promptly and wrote to us two weeks ago: ‘I met with Hassan a couple of times over the weekend. He is very sincere. He is having problems in his family which we are discussing how to handle. He is very interested to study.’
No one knows where the current ferment in the Arab world will lead. The first truly democratic elections took place in Tunisia a few days ago (23 Oct). We pray that they may usher in a more tolerant society. In Algeria, the national Christian church has obtained a significant level of recognition from the government. However, whatever happens, we must continue to announce the message of ‘Jesus King of Kings’ so that as many as possible can have the opportunity to hear it.
Your Majesty, I can but bow,
I lay my all before you now,
In royal robes I don’t deserve,
I live to serve your Majesty
All names have been changed for the personal security of the individuals.