Religion, especially Islam, uniquely characterizes the Middle East and North Africa, which includes many Arabic-speaking countries and others, such as Iran, Israel, and Turkey. Across the region, Christians are a vulnerable minority, often facing considerable hardship. As a result, many have emigrated, contributing to declining Christian populations. Those who remain face social and economic challenges in some countries, and violent persecution in others. Yet, the Church perseveres as a faithful remnant. Today, the region is home to 16 million Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant Christians.
As it ministers in hostile settings, the Middle Eastern and North African Church has great need for well-equipped spiritual leadership. Theological schools seek to train Christian leaders who can share the hope of the Gospel amid adversity and address pressing theological issues, such as suffering and witness, forgiveness and reconciliation, and missional engagement with Islam. War and terrorism in the region have driven millions from their homes, but the Church is reaching out with the love of Christ. Many Muslim refugees are responding to the Gospel with encouraging openness.
Through LeaderStudies, ScholarLeaders currently supports 7 leaders from Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Iran, and Iraq. Through the Vital SustainAbility Initiative, we have worked closely with leaders of the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo as they develop plans for training pastors for Egypt and throughout the Arabic-speaking world. We celebrate the work of reconciliation led by Musalaha founder, Dr. Salim Munayer, as well as his colleagues at Bethlehem Bible College.
Please join us in prayer for our sisters and brothers who choose to remain in this volatile region. Their commitment to Christ and His Church inspires and challenges us all. Pray for those who teach, train, minister, and share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Pray especially for those from Muslim backgrounds who choose to follow Christ at great personal cost.