Some of the oldest Christian communities in the world are disappearing from the very lands where their faith was born. During the past decade, Christians around the Middle East have been subject to vicious abuse from radical Islamists, forced out of their ancestral lands by civil wars and suffered from discrimination and intolerance from the legal codes and official practices of many Middle Eastern countries.The past year has seen brutal atrocities committed against Christians by groups such as ISIL, simply because of their religious beliefs. These incidents underscore the gravity of the situation and have resulted in the migration of increasing numbers of Christians from the region. They have also moved to safe havens within the Middle East, resulting in a more concentrated Christian presence in Jordan, the area controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq, and Lebanon.
The number of Christians living in the Middle East today is estimated to range from 7.5 million to 15 million, with the largest numbers living in Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon. However, these estimates vary considerably because of the massive waves of forced migration over the past decade and the sharp growth in the number of Christians from the Middle East now living in exile.
- With the Middle East continuing to be one of the worlds most unstable regions politically, let us pray, not only for stability in the region, but for a revival in the Church, for the growth in the spread of the Gospel and for transformed lives, even those in authority, that will lead to peace and reconciliation across the region.
- Pray for Christians in the Middle East, for courage in the face of extreme opposition, for peace and hope that passes understanding and that will witness to those who seek to hurt them.
- Pray for “Damascus Road” types of revelation from Jesus to those seeking to wipe out Christians, that they will raise who it is they are persecuting and come to bow their knees in recognition of the Living God and Christ Jesus.
Psalm 86 vs 9: “ll the nations you have made shall come and bow down before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name.