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All articles in category Western Asia

Missionary Spotlight – Obeying God in Jordan
March 2002
Jordan

Missionary Spotlight – Obeying God in Jordan

‘We must obey God rather than men’ (Acts 5:29). This short but powerful quote kept coming to mind during a recent trip to Jordan. Much of our journey was spent visiting sites rich in biblical significance.   Jordan’s legal system is founded upon Islamic principles. Muslims are forbidden to convert to Christianity on pain of death. When I first arrived I wondered whether such a law was just languishing on the books without real enforcement. By the end of our trip, I received my answer. No apologies   While there, we met quietly with some evangelical Christian leaders. On our last night we met a...

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A Bible for modern Turkey
January 2002
Turkey

A Bible for modern Turkey

The date is 6 October 2001 and there is great rejoicing in a church in Istanbul. One lady puts it like this: ‘I have cried a lot today. Today the Bible is in my hands’. She expresses the feeling of the other Turkish believers when she says, ‘We are very happy … more than happy, we are proud. Today I feel myself closer to God in my own language, in my own being. For this is my language. The Lord speaks to me in my own language’. Lampstand removed This lady’s excitement is like that of those who heard the apostle Peter on the day...

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Missionary Spotlight – Understanding Jordan
November 2001
Jordan

Missionary Spotlight – Understanding Jordan

To understand what it means to be an Evangelical Christian in Jordan requires an understanding of the country’s recent political history. This article provides such an outline.   Jordan is unusual, being the only Arab nation whose royal dynasty is not indigenous — the Hashemites originated from the Arabian Peninsula. The Hashemites and Al-Sauds were once the most influential families in Arabia. Both helped the British to drive the Ottoman Turks out of the Middle East in 1918, and both claimed the right to rule Arabia. Eventually the powerful Al-Saud family got the upper hand and declared most of Arabia a Saudi Kingdom. Hashemites  ...

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November 2001
Jordan

Missionary Spotlight – he Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Area — 37,738 square miles.   Neighbours   —   Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the West Bank.   Environment   —   Most agriculture is concentrated on the eastern bank of the River Jordan. To the east is arid desert. A cooler, rainy season lasts from November to April.   Population   —   5 million, including over 2 million Palestinians and thousands of Kuwaiti and Iraqi refugees. 5% of the population is nomadic.   Life expectancy   —   73 years.   Ethnic groups   —   Arab 96%, others 4%.   Languages   —   Arabic (official), English.   Literacy  ...

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Missionary Spotlight – Understanding Jordan
November 2001
Jordan

Missionary Spotlight – Understanding Jordan

To understand what it means to be an Evangelical Christian in Jordan requires an understanding of the country’s recent political history. This article provides such an outline.   Jordan is unusual, being the only Arab nation whose royal dynasty is not indigenous — the Hashemites originated from the Arabian Peninsula. The Hashemites and Al-Sauds were once the most influential families in Arabia. Both helped the British to drive the Ottoman Turks out of the Middle East in 1918, and both claimed the right to rule Arabia. Eventually the powerful Al-Saud family got the upper hand and declared most of Arabia a Saudi Kingdom. Hashemites  ...

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JEWISH WORLDVIEW
March 2001
Israel

JEWISH WORLDVIEW

Maurice.I would like to thank you, Joseph, for sparing the time to explain the Jewish worldview to me. I have read the Old Testament and spent some time reading about the background of the Old Testament books. Again, of course, in my New Testament reading I have come across the Pharisees and Sadducees, together with the High Priest, chief priests and priests of the Jewish Temple. I have also read about the Jewish ruling body, the Sanhedrin.   Joseph. I hope you do not think that this kind of material gives you an understanding of the Jewish worldview today. You mention the Old Testament. For...

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MISSIONARY SPOTLIGHT-Istanbul
January 1999
Turkey

MISSIONARY SPOTLIGHT-Istanbul

The ancient capital of the eastern Roman Empire, Constantinople, occupied a comparatively small area of land, protected on three sides by water. In this area, on the European side of the Bosphorus, are Istanbul’s covered market and university. In 1966, when we first lived in Istanbul (no longer a capital city), the population was three million. Today it has reached seventeen million, with many migrants from the east of Turkey, and now the city covers a large area. High-rise flats and minarets dominate the landscape. The air pollution has to be seen to be believed. Overwhelming suffering It is impossible to be indifferent to suffering,...

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December 1998
Turkey

A summer holiday- with a difference

One summer’s morning, in the early hours, a small group of us arrived, bleary-eyed and a little bewildered, at the airport in Turkey. Our Bible studies during our stay in Turkey were to be in the book of Esther, when, morning by morning, we were reminded of God’s hand of providence in the lives of his people, in Shushan and the king’s provinces. By big and seemingly small events, by placing the right people in the right place at the right time, by overturning events completely, God works out his eternal purposes.   The seven-hour bus ride that followed was awful, as we hurtled down...

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October 1998
Turkey

Fact File – Turkey

Fact File – Turkey   Area: 301, 000 square miles. 3% in Europe, bounded by Bulgaria and Greece; 97% in Asia, bounded by Georgia, Armenia, Iran, Iraq and Syria. The Bosphorus and Dardenelles join the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. Istanbul controls these sea links, and is Turkey’s chief port and commercial city.   Environment: The plateau of Anatolia is semi-desert. It contains the salt lake of Tuz as other large mountain lakes. The northern Pontic mountain ranges are wooded. Fertile plains exist on the south coast of the Black Sea. Wild boars are abundant in the forests, and wolves, wildcats, hyenas, jackals and bear...

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Turkey in perspective
October 1998
Turkey

Turkey in perspective

To the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia [Minor], and Bithynia … Grace to you and peace be multiplied’ (1 Peter l: l-2). Peter was speaking to first-century Christians inhabiting today’s Turkey. Similarly, the Lord of the Church sent John to minister in Ephesus (in western Turkey), and the Holy Spirit moved the missionary church of Antioch (in southern Turkey) to send Paul and Barnabas to Turkey’s ancient towns and villages. In the early centuries of the Christian Church, God abundantly blessed these regions. In spite of persecution, the advance of the gospel emptied pagan temples, and West Turkey, or Byzantium, became, for a...

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MISSIONARY SPOTLIGHT- The Republic of Turkey
October 1998
Turkey

MISSIONARY SPOTLIGHT- The Republic of Turkey

– where Europe and Asia meet   The gospel and Turkish people   Turkish people are characteristically friendly, hospitable, outgoing and religious. The western media and secularism are eroding fundamental Islamic belief, and so most Turks, in an effort to be reconciled to modern thinking and still retain their ‘faith’, have liberalised Koranic teaching much as liberal Christians have done with the Bible. Even among the minority of fundamentalist Muslims there are scholars who are promoting an understanding of other faiths. In this cultural climate it is easy to engage any Turk in spiritual conversation, in any place and at any social level.   Our...

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October 1998
Turkey

A summer holiday

with a difference One summer’s morning, in the early hours, a small group of us arrived, bleary-eyed and a little bewildered, at the airport in Turkey. Our Bible studies during our stay in Turkey were to be in the book of Esther, when, morning by morning, we were reminded of God’s hand of providence in the lives of his people, in Shushan and the king’s provinces. By big and seemingly small events, by placing the right people in the right place at the right time, by overturning events completely, God works out his eternal purposes.   The seven-hour bus ride that followed was awful, as...

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