Subscribe now

All articles in category Western Asia

April 2014
Cyprus

Progress in North Cyprus

Just over 29 years ago, on the first Sunday in February 1965, a little family of six gathered in their sparsely furnished front room and praised God together on their first Lord’s Day in their new country. The words of the hymn that they had sung with all the well-wishers at Darlington station, a few days before, echoed in their ears: ‘Tell me the old, old story of Jesus and his love’. Multinational congregation Twenty-nine years on, and three members of the same family, along with a wife and three children, met in North Cyprus to praise God on the first Sunday in February. This...

Read more
March 2014
Articles > World Mission > Asia > Western Asia

Shedding Light on Islamic Politics in the Middle East

In Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria Islamists tried to hijack the freedom-thirsty uprisings of their people. Being well organized as movements the Muslim Brotherhood branches in these countries outmanoeuvered others and did well in local elections. Their plan, however, was to fanatically impose their narrow Islamic agenda on the rest of their countrymen.  This has backfired on them in every one of these countries.  In Egypt the Islamic president was deposed through a popular uprising. In Tunisia the secularists forced the Islamic government to resign and replaced it by a coalition government committed to religious and political freedom. In Libya, the Islamists have not succeeded in...

Read more
December 2013
Iran

An Iranian finds Christ

Saeed Mokhlessi writes: I was born in Iran in a fairly devout Muslim family. From an early age, we were taught the basic principles of Islam and I was encouraged to believe and obey them. I remember, from the age of 4 or 5 I used to get excited when the month of Ramadan (when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset) was approaching. Although boys are not required to fast till the age of 15, I was eager to do it.       As I grew up in the community, I became known as an upright and religious boy (although I did get up to mischief...

Read more
May 2013
Iran

Growing pressures in Azerbaijan

Churches in Azerbaijan are facing increasing pressure due to government fears of religious extremism. A fact-finding trip by Release International discovered many churches are being denied official registration under tough new regulations.      But, despite the increasing pressures faced by Christians in the former Soviet republic, the church is growing.      Release, which serves persecuted Christians, has produced a DVD highlighting the challenge facing believers in Azerbaijan and featuring interviews with pastors and others. In the fire is available from the Release web site. Oppression Pastor ‘Izzat’ served 18 months behind bars after complaints by Muslim leaders. Thirty police and officials turned up at his...

Read more
The gospel on the island of Cyprus
October 2012
Cyprus

The gospel on the island of Cyprus

The gospel on the island of Cyprus Cyprus, the third largest island in the Mediterranean, lies not far from the coasts of Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Israel. Driving across this semi-arid country, one can still come across the idyllic scene of a shepherd leading a mixed flock of longhaired sheep, barely distinguishable from the longhaired goats mingled among them.    Acts 13 records that the first ever missionary outreach was prayerfully sent from the young church in Antioch to the island of Cyprus. In obedience to God’s command to take the gospel to the ends of the earth, the apostle Paul and his Cypriot-background teammate, Barnabas,...

Read more
Redressing the balance
March 2012
Israel

Redressing the balance

Redressing the balance Israel is a fascinating, frustrating, friendly and sometimes plain mad place to live! The fascination comes from living within the pages of the Bible. The frustration arises from Middle Eastern attitudes to life. The madness stems from the clash of cultures between Arabs and Jews, and the rightward shift of Israeli politics. Over 1.5 million Russians have immigrated following the fall of the Iron Curtain and these are often more influenced by Russian autocracy than by Israel’s western democratic tradition.     There are now more Russians than Arab Israelis and they generally do not like each other, a worrying trend when Israel...

Read more
God at work in Saudi Arabia
January 2012
Saudi Arabia

God at work in Saudi Arabia

God at work in Saudi Arabia ‘Saudi women to be allowed to vote for the first time’; ‘Saudi woman sentenced to ten lashes for driving is later pardoned by the king’. Saudi Arabia can generate headlines like none other. With the Koran as its constitution, and as keeper of the two holiest sites in Islam, Saudi Arabia has sought to restrict the spread of Christianity. Yet, reports are coming in that God is at work in this desert kingdom of 26 million people. Church The church in Saudi Arabia has largely been confined to foreigners. Unlike other countries in the Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Arabia does...

Read more
How Saudi Arabia treats Christians
September 2011
Saudi Arabia

How Saudi Arabia treats Christians

How Saudi Arabia treats Christians Saudi Arabia is home to the two holiest Muslim sites, Mecca and Medina, and the Saudi government, with its allied religious establishment, considers itself the authoritative voice of Islam. The Saudi king’s official title is ‘Custodian of the two holy mosques’, indicating the importance that the royal family attaches to Islam.    The region once had a large Christian population, which was expelled during the reign of Caliph Umar (AD 634-644) shortly after Muhammad’s death. Today, Saudi Arabia is one of the most conservative Sunni Muslim countries in the world, following an extreme and puritanical version of Islam called Wahhabism.   ...

Read more
Missionary Spotlight – A great work in retirement
September 2009
Turkey

Missionary Spotlight – A great work in retirement

A great work in retirement   While serving Christ as missionaries with European Missionary Fellowship (EMF) in Turkey, in spring 1975, David and I were privileged to be the hosts to a retired Greek pastor from Piraeus, Athens.      Stavros Delianides had been invited to preach to the few remaining Greek Protestants in Istanbul over the Easter period. Seated around the kitchen table in our flat on the European side of the city, this dear gentleman, then in his mid-70s, told us his life story.      Stavros, ethnically Greek, had been born in Urdu on the Black Sea coast of Turkey, into a Greek Orthodox...

Read more
Missionary Spotlight – Iran today
September 2009
Iran

Missionary Spotlight – Iran today

Iran today   In the Western world, even in our low times, we are never far from a spiritual oasis of fellowship that will revive the soul. The regular experience of our brethren in Iran is so different.      Here is a family who arrived late to our small gathering. The bus trip was planned to take 48 hours (not a comfortable, air-conditioned coach). In fact it took even longer because the only driver fell asleep at the wheel. The bus left the road and rolled over before coming to rest. The family arrived stiff and bruised but, by the grace of God, otherwise unharmed....

Read more
Missionary Spotlight – Cyprus – meeting place of the nations
July 2008
Cyprus

Missionary Spotlight – Cyprus – meeting place of the nations

Cyprus’ meeting place of the nations   Cyprus, the easternmost island of the Mediterranean, is encircled by Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Egypt. It is a popular holiday destination for many Europeans and Middle Easterners, and is also a regional business centre.   There is much to see and do. Within walking distance of the John Calvin Centre (JCC), for instance, is the church which by tradition is the final resting place of Lazarus. A bit further on are the excavations of Kition, a settlement dating back thousands of years and founded by Kittim, the great grandson of Noah (Genesis 10:4).      None of this...

Read more
Israel after sixty years
May 2008
Israel

Israel after sixty years

Israel after sixty years   The State of Israel was founded on 14 May 1948 and recognised by the United Nations the same day. The new State was the focus of Jewish hope. Hounded, humiliated, abused and misused by the nations for 2,000 years, the Jewish people would at last be an accepted member of the family of nations — sharing mankind’s hopes, burdens and victories, and making its contribution to the resolution of mankind’s woes.   The State was founded in a largely depopulated land covered with malarial swamps, denuded hills and deforested mountains. Decades of coura-geous, sacrificial struggle resulted in a blossoming agriculture,...

Read more
Page 2 of 612345...Last »