Hotspot: Iraq / Syria

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Threats and Challenges

The ancient Church of Iraq and Syria is threatened with extinction. Assyrians, Chaldeans, Armenians, and other groups which are historically Christian will be eliminated if the radical Islamists have their way. Christian Arabs and evangelical Christians are especially in danger. In addition, groups such as the Yazidis, who have their own unique religion, will be eliminated.

How can the Gospel of Christ go forth in a land that is devoid of Christian presence? The potential for fulfilling the Great Commission soon among the peoples of the Middle East will be even more in question than it has been if these men have their way.

Moderate Muslims are in danger of being brought under the brutal control of those committed to a harsh administration of Islamic rule. In addition to Arabs, Kurds, Persians, Azerbaijanis, Turkmen, and other Muslim people groups will be affected.

Opportunities – the Lord can use this

Christians threatened by shared danger may be able to overcome long-standing hostilities between themselves and become more unified as the body of Christ.

Similarly, Christians and moderate Muslims who share the dangers of radical Islam may be drawn together.

All peoples who are threatened may be driven to reassess their priorities in life. Christians may become real disciples of Jesus, not content with a nominal commitment to the Christian religion. Non-Christians may become much more open to the Gospel of peace which Christ brings. The stage could be set for major advances as Christ is sought and found in the Middle East.

The governments of Iraq and Syria may be pressured to change radically, such that they can and will protect all their citizens.

The Lord could receive great glory as his hand moves to bring peace throughout the Middle East. Sometimes problems are too great for men to solve. When men are driven to seek the Lord and he responds to their cries, he is honored.

Prayer Suggestions

* Pray for stable and effective governments for Iraq and Syria, which have the desire and capability to protect all their citizens.
* Pray for refugees that have been forced from their homes.
* Pray for protection for those being targeted by radical Islamists: Christians and minority groups such as the Yazidi. Pray these people will see what to do to protect themselves.
* Pray that radical Islamists will work against themselves, rendering them ineffective in what they are trying to do. Pray they will waste their resources, becoming confused and impotent. Remember the Midianites. See Judges 7:22
* Pray that radical Islamists will redirect their religious zeal to serve the living God and his Son, Jesus Christ. Pray the Lord's Spirit will open the eyes of these men to see Christ in powerful ways.
* Pray that other nations will know what to do. Pray they will find ways to protect and assist those who are suffering and who are threatened.
* Pray the Lord will bind the dark spiritual forces at work. He has the power to do that.

Scripture

"But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and shield." Psalm 33: 18-20


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