Perfect love casts out fear. (1 John 4.18, ESV)
In the face of beheadings, fleeing refugees and persecution of believers, the Arab World Media team encouraged people to fix their eyes on Jesus, whose perfect love casts out fear.
It was a year of tragedy – yet a year of tremendous opportunity. As we look back, we see a faithful God, whose purposes continue to unfold day by day.
Through 28 media promotions, we focused on engaging victims of war, women at risk, persecuted communities and Muslim seekers with the gospel of Jesus Christ. We saw a number of people come to faith, even in the most isolated and hostile of places. We saw people integrated into local fellowships across the Arab world and begin to flourish in their faith. But we also experienced the heartbreak of watching Muslims turn their back on the gospel. It was indeed a year of emotional highs, as well as emotional lows. Even so, our eyes are firmly fixed on God, to whom this ministry belongs.
Victims of war
Google and Facebook advertisements, drawing attention to tailored, creative content, gave millions of people in war-torn countries the opportunity to hear more about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Over 1.3 million sessions took place on our website, and we attracted 334,000 Facebook fans from these countries in 2015. For many of them, this could well have been their first opportunity to hear the gospel. Many indicated to us that they wanted to know more about Jesus. The search for truth is very much in people’s hearts and minds.
I’m attracted by the Christian religion. Back home I wouldn’t have the freedom to talk about this. Our society doesn’t allow it. I had a dream about Jesus. I need your help. (Male, Jordan)
Women at risk
We completed eleven self-help modules in 2015 and, in a nutshell, they made an incredible impact on the lives of women of the Arab world. Over 922,000 people showed an interest in the content, and some incredible testimonies of the transforming power of God emerged out of this project. It was absolutely a worthwhile initiative!
Islam is no longer the solution! This is very much in the minds of Muslims these days. They are frustrated, weary and disillusioned. They are searching for peace and for solutions to their problems.
I was born into a Muslim family and brought up in our religion, learning the Qur’an by heart. But even then I felt that the true God was not the one I was worshipping, because the true God is loving and forgiving and merciful to his children, not punishing and harsh. So I began my search. I was not persuaded by the answers I found in my own religion, so I turned to the internet. (Male, Tunisia)
Last year, over 2.3 million people turned to our website in search of answers. Of these, well over 17,000 Muslims began a conversation with us around the gospel message. More than 223,000 Bibles were downloaded, as well as 142,000 other Christian books. Praise God for the first steps these individuals have taken in understanding the Christian faith, and pray that the Lord of the harvest will continue to draw them to himself.
Over 28,700 people interacted with the study modules for new believers, which include an emphasis on persecution. One video that made a particularly strong impact was a poem written by a young woman from Saudi, reflecting on the agony of being rejected by her family as a result of her faith. Well over 200,000 people watched and responded.
A reminder to pray
We rejoice to see these glimpses of God’s glory at work in the lives of Arab people – let us also pray for those who are living each day in the reality of isolation and persecution:
- A man in Baghdad, the only Christian in a family group that meets to discuss life questions
- Ten people in a closed country who meet daily on PalTalk, but are unable to meet face to face
- Two ladies in Libya who connect with our team through the internet and meet with each other
Thank you for your prayers, gifts and encouragement this past year. We look forward to sharing more of what the Lord is doing through our ministry.