Revolution in the Arab World, and the Need to Remain

James 1:2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

As Egyptians and Tunisians continue to congratulate each other with the words “Mabrouk!” each nation is embarking on a long and difficult period of change. The people, and the Churches in their respective countries, will need to be persevering and steadfast in the pursuit of the ideals and goals that already many have given their lives for.

Many people’s expectations for change are currently at totally unrealistic levels – they want to immediately see salaries raised, new jobs created, food prices slashed, the Emergency Regulations scrapped and political changes made to usher in a new democratically elected parliament…and whole new civil society! Of course these things are going to take much time, especially the building of the many and necessary institutions of a democratic society. SAT-7 therefore wants to call its supporters and audiences to unrelentingly pray that this long and difficult road will be a peaceful and successful one! It is already remarkable that his revolution has come so far with relatively little violence. We pray that this will continue.

SAT-7 will remain steadfast in supporting the Church in Egypt and Tunisia (and across the entire region). Just as we were able to go live with several programs about the situation in Egypt, first from Lebanon, then again from Egypt during the unrest (as communications services returned), it is our goal to provide an ongoing platform for the local church to speak into this fast-moving and complex situation, and to comfort, encourage and teach their flocks even during the most difficult times. And, as the Church perseveres, we pray that this will bring forth hope, justice and a faith that lacks nothing.

SAT-7 also echoes the concerns of Arab Christians for the immediate future and beyond. We call for Christians everywhere to be unrelenting in their continued prayers for the future of the Church, and for the countries of Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya and the others in greater region, including Iran. Please pray for hope and peace to abound, especially in those countries where the demonstrations have yet to affect any change. Pray for the newly appointed, caretaker leaders in Egypt and Tunisia to have wisdom – especially as they plan how they will manage the change that their citizens are now expecting from them.

Pray for the Church to continue as a voice of love and moderation; for the Church to remain engaged and to speak truth into the different social and political forums that are now active; and to be the salt and light that God has always intended His people to be in such situations.

Pray too that the changing dynamics of the region would, in the long-term, produce an environment that is healthy for the future life, work and witness of the Church.

Lastly, we thank God for answered prayers. We are thankful that more lives were not lost during the unrest in Egypt and Tunisia. We are thankful that Christians sought to serve others by protecting those who prayed, providing water and medical services and even helped in the clean-up of debris from the unrest. We thank God that Egyptian Christians were able to worship openly at the center of the unrest in Cairo. And we thank God for the new and real unity amongst many Egyptians, born in the heat of the revolution as Muslims and Christians stood in the streets side by side, as equals and as citizens with a common purpose. We pray that these new relationships may endure the difficult days ahead.

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”  James 3:17,18

Social Unrest

Good blog, Terry. Great to read the perspective of one who has lived and ministered in the Middle East for 35+ years. Blessings to you and SAT-7. Rex