Use of Christian Social Media Growing Across Middle East
Open Doors’ online presence in the Middle East is growing rapidly. Several social media projects focusing on supporting Christians in the Arab-speaking world have now culminated into a combined total of 500,000 likes.
Each week thousands of people, both Christians and Muslims, are engaging on one of the social media outlets supported by Open Doors, where Christian values are conveyed and testimonies shared in an Arab context.
Of the 355 million people living in the Middle East, about 50 percent now have access to the Internet. Alex*, an Open Doors worker involved in online presence, explains how it works: “Social media has a rapidly growing influence in the way people think about politics and society. This means the Internet offers a vast amount of opportunities for our organisation as well. Much in the same way Brother Andrew started our ministry 60 years ago by smuggling Bibles in his Volkswagen Beetle, we can now use the Internet to ‘hide’ the gospel in a smart way and present it in the Arab world.”
The websites and online communities are visited by people from all over the Middle East; from Morocco and Libya to the Arabian Peninsula. An online support team, operating from within the region, is available to minister to online visitors, and connects directly with Christians in closed countries, where churches are struggling to give public witness.
Many Muslims that may be open to Christ are also seemingly at ease to communicate about this anonymously online, especially as, for many, communicating publicly and openly about this is not an option.
“Every week there are about 35,000 interactions on the largest Facebook page we work with. This means that people ‘like’ or ‘share’ our posts, or ‘comment’ on them,” says Alex. “In an average week our team has daily interactions with 35,000 people who visit our page and are usually engaged in at least 25 deeper conversations leading to in-depth heart-to-heart ministry.”
*Name changed for security reasons
- Give thanks for Open Doors online ministry and the thousands of people reached each week through social media.
- Pray for those who interact wit Open Doors pages, for the conversations to lead many to a deeper understanding of Christ and he gospel, and to be an encouragement for Christians who are often isolated and lonely.
- Pray for the continued availability of Christian resources and material across the internet, and for many Muslims to encounter Christ through these ministries.
1 Thessalonians 5 vs 11: “Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.”