Middle East and North Africa

Religion, especially Islam, uniquely characterizes the Middle East and North Africa. Despite their ancient heritage and historical contributions since the first century, Christians remain vulnerable and relatively few in number across the region. Against considerable hardship and even violent persecution in some countries, the Church perseveres as a faithful remnant. Today, the region is home to over 20 million Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant Christians.

As it ministers in hostile settings, the Middle Eastern and North African Church has great need for well-equipped leaders. Theological schools seek to train Christian leaders who can preach the Gospel amid adversity and address pressing issues, such as suffering and witness, forgiveness and reconciliation, and 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 refugees are responding to the Gospel with encouraging openness.

Through LeaderStudies, SCHOLARLEADERS currently supports nine leaders from Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Palestine, and Lebanon. 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 also celebrate the work of reconciliation led by Musalaha founder and 2009 ScholarLeader of the YearDr. Salim Munayer, and his colleagues at Bethlehem Bible College.

Please join us in prayer for our sisters and brothers who live and serve in this 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 new believers who choose to follow Christ at great personal cost.

Photo: Coptic Church in Cairo Egypt (Credit: Evan Hunter).

Prayer Community

Eva Wong Suk Hyun from Malaysia

I am currently in my fifth year of PhD studies at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies (OCMS) in the United Kingdom. My research examines the extent to which the practice of the Assemblies of God of Malaysia has changed, with respect to its espoused Pentecostal Theology, since its inception in 1957 to the present day.

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Prayer Community

Nok Kam from Myanmar

I ask for your intercessory prayer for my people and my country, Myanmar, which is full of conflicts between the Burmese military and ethnic minorities. Christians and ethnic minorities have been tortured by the military for a long time. Consequently, many ethnic groups are seeking refuge in neighboring countries and in Western countries as well. Please do pray for the total dismantling of military power in the Union government.

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Prayer Community

Chung Man Anna Lo serving Cambodia

I am originally from Hong Kong but worked at a Bible school in Phnom Penh before furthering my studies at Fuller Theological Seminary. My husband, Kakda Chan, was also a teacher at that Bible school. Cambodia has a strong need of trained pastors and church leaders. Higher educational levels of younger generations call for higher levels of theological training. We therefore decided to further our studies in the United States in hopes of joining our colleagues later in order to open a theology school that offers graduate-level programs.

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Prayer Community

Patrick from Hong Kong

In last seven months, the pro-democracy anti-extradition protests have completely changed Hong Kong. The protests started as peaceful marches against the extradition bill. However, violence and clashes between protestors and police erupted when the nonviolent protests failed to effect change. To date, police have arrested over 6,000 people and have fired more than 16,000 rounds of tear gas in the city.

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Prayer Community

Michelle Mingyue Kang in China

As the social environment gets more complicated, believers are facing a host of issues related to the family, such as extramarital affairs, homophobia, questions related to sex education and social services, etc. Due to a lack of academically trained professors, and a dearth of Christian writers and researchers, Chinese theological education cannot build itself up and remains ill-equipped to tackle these issues.

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Prayer Community

Kinyip Louie in Hong Kong

Pray that the Church would learn how to love and pastor the younger generation, many of whom have become disillusioned with both society and the Church. Some of them, because of their participation in the protests, have been arrested or have broken relationships with their families.

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Prayer Community

Rania Hendy from Egypt

The Christmas scene in Egypt might be completely different from the celebrative scenes in many other countries throughout the world. Nonetheless, it is not so different from the first Christmas scene in Bethlehem.

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Prayer Community

Benrilo Kikon from Nagaland, India

As a woman from a patriarchal Naga society, I am keenly sensitive to Mary’s role in the Christmas story. What immediately fascinates me is that she was chosen to bear the Son of God – what an honor! In a world in which women are dishonored and marginalized, this is a great story of honoring women.

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