Persecution and revival in the lands of the Bible
Suffering Christians thankful for your support as they make a stand for Christ
In many of the Middle East’s most restricted nations, persecution is nothing new. Throughout the Bible, God’s people have faced oppression and opposition, especially during the Easter season. In Egypt, the Israelites endured centuries of slavery. In Iran, God’s people were threatened with genocide at the hands of a power-hungry leader, until God used Esther to save her people. And in Israel, religious extremists in collusion with the mighty Roman Empire, murdered the very One who’d been sent to save them! Today, God’s people are still under threat in these Bible lands, as there has been a sharp increase in persecution for many believers. Yet, through your prayers and support, Open Doors has been able to equip and strengthen suffering Christians, enabling them to see God’s Kingdom advance, in spite of the growing opposition. Egypt… The church grows as threats intensify Egypt’s Christians have experienced increasing opposition and threats since the Arab Spring uprising. For many believers, the political uncertainty has brought a new dependence on God-and opportunities to witness for Christ have been growing, in spite of the threats and opposition. In fact, within the past few months, there have been multiple evangelical outreach events, with more than 15,000 people making commitments to Christ! “I was overwhelmed by the spirit of love that spread out all over the place, from people who have been facing a severe wave of attacks by fanatic Muslims,” shared one attendee. Iran… Youth hunger for Christ as authorities clamp down According to the Iranian regime, those who convert to Christ are considered apostates-a crime which is punishable by death. Almost all Christian activity is illegal. And yet, God is at work in Iran. Rafin and Nader, who are young converts from Muslim backgrounds, are proof of that. And they are not alone. “Many Persians are coming to Christ,” shares Nader. “Many are young college students, and even some of their teachers are asking for Bibles!” Israel and the Palestinian Territories… Unity shines as spiritual darkness deepens Israel and the Palestinian territories are seemingly defined by deep division and fierce hatred. And in the mix of all this, many Christians are facing persecution for their faith. In spite of this, the light of the gospel is shining brightly-as Israeli and Palestinian Christians find true unity in Jesus. In recent months, a group of Christian teenagers from the Palestinian Territories and Israel have been doing just that-forming a dance troupe to share the gospel in their region. “Without God, we wouldn’t have been able to do this together,” explains 16-year-old Achi-Noam from Jerusalem. “We go against the current by choosing not to participate in the hatred between Jews and Arabs.” Across the land of the Bible, God’s people are experiencing intense threats and pressure-just as they always have. But hand-in-hand with the struggles come opportunities for the church to grow and reach out, advancing God’s Kingdom where faith costs the most. Your support enables our teams on the front lines to continue strengthening and equipping the church. As you can see, your prayers and gifts make such a difference. Thank you for equipping the church to grow in these countries!