As I type this, people are dying on the streets of Cairo. My heart breaks for this great nation. Please take a moment to pray for this unfolding crisis.
I just spent a week with Christian leaders from several North Africa / Middle East (NAME) countries, including people from Egypt. It was one of those time when you know you are in a historic time, with people experiencing history in a way that will forever change the world.
Some of the people I met with have not been able to return home to their countries because of the unrest. There was weeping, joy, fear, and a quiet optimism to be found among the meeting participants.
Here are a four simple observations that I heard from these Arab Christian leaders:
- This is a necessary challenge to autocratic rule in many of these countries. Christians should be concerned about the injustice and corruption foisted upon the peoples of the Arab world.
- The ramifications for the church are deep and broad but we will not know what they are for months or possibly years. A full Islamic retrenchment. like the Iranian Revolution, is unlikely but open societies are also unlikely. It is possible that we will see a radicalization of some countries while simultaneously seeing an opening up of others. The Arab world is not monolithic and we should be cognizant of differences across the NAME region.
- A foundation has been laid over the past twenty-five years upon which the future of the Arab church will be built. We should be aware that there is not a single Arab country without a church meeting within its borders. In some places, the price of discipleship has been high. These are the kind of partners in ministry that the global church can look toward for leadership.
- The role of media in outreach has become more important over the past two weeks. The current uprising was launched on social media. The future church will also use media technologies in expanding into the Arab world.
Pray for Egypt and pray for the churches that are spread across all Arab countries. They are a small, but powerful force for the Kingdom!