Middle East and North Africa

Religion, especially Islam, uniquely characterizes the Middle East and North Africa. According to Pew, more than half of the 20 countries in this region have populations that are at least 95% Muslim.

Despite their ancient heritage, Christians remain vulnerable and relatively few. Today, the region is home to 15 million Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant Christians, who persevere as a faithful remnant amid adversity and, in some places, violent persecution. The Middle Eastern and North African Church needs well-equipped leaders who can preach the Gospel amid hostility and address urgent questions concerning suffering, reconciliation, and engagement with Islam.

Through LeaderStudies, ScholarLeaders supports 11 leaders from Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine as they pursue PhDs to guide the Church in understanding Christian history and identity, teaching and preaching in context-responsive ways, engaging Muslim neighbors with integrity, and pursuing biblical approaches to peace and justice.

Through the Vital SustainAbility Initiative, ScholarLeaders has worked closely with Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo to develop plans for training pastors in Egypt and throughout the Arabic-speaking world.

In 2009, we celebrated the reconciliation ministry led by Musalaha founder Dr. Salim Munayer and his colleagues at Bethlehem Bible College with the ScholarLeader of the Year Award. In 2019, we also recognized Dr. Yohanna Katanacho, Academic Dean at Nazareth Evangelical College, who writes, speaks, and teaches on love for enemies made possible in Christ.

To learn from the theological wisdom shared by Middle Eastern and North African Christian leaders in the ScholarLeaders Fellowship, check out these Global Insights:

ScholarLeaders’ own Wageeh Mikhail, Director of Catalytic Venture – Religions, also hosted this 12-part House of Wisdom video series, which originally aired in Arabic on SAT-7. Watch to learn how Arab Christians in the Middle Ages developed theology that continues to guide Christians worldwide today, as well as how these forerunners of our faith interacted with their Muslim neighbors. (English subtitles are available, thanks to a generous gift from The Village Church, Rancho Santa Fe.)

Join us in prayer for our sisters and brothers who live and serve in the Middle East and North Africa. Pray for Christian leaders who teach, train, conduct research, produce resources, minister, and proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ amid hardship and danger. Pray for new believers who choose to follow Jesus at great cost. Pray for the peace of Christ to reign.

Photo: “Hills above Jericho on the West Bank” (2021) by David McLenachan (Unsplash)

Prayer Community

Andry Randrianasolo from Madagascar

The Lutheran Church of Madagascar continues to address all forms of syncretism in its members’ lives through its ministry of asa and fampaherezana and discipleship. However, this work remains difficult in a power/fear and spirit-power encounter cultural context.

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