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All articles in category Western Asia

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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May 1998
Israel

Messianic believers threatened but encouraged

Antagonism towards Messianic groups in Israel has been increasing since the introduction of a bill in the Jewish parliament to outlaw ‘missionary material’. Opposition from ultra-orthodox Jews is thought to be the source of a number of incidents over the past few months in which Messianic believers have had their property damaged and threats made against them. However, leaders of Messianic (Christian) groups are encouraged by the scale of worldwide support for their case that the proposed legislation would not only hinder legitimate missionary activity but be a positive barrier to freedom of information. It would amount to religious censorship and undermine the freedom of...

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Israel – fifty years on
May 1998
Israel

Israel – fifty years on

From poverty to plenty The modern State of Israel, established fifty years ago, is a remarkable phenomenon. A nation exiled for almost 2,000 years returns home under the most distressing circumstances the world has ever known. Torn and battered from the Nazi ‘holocaust’, the population has swollen from an initial 600,000 to now over 5 million. Israel has constructed a highly modern infrastructure, established world-renowned centres of learning, renewed the use of its ancient language (Hebrew), once spoken by prophets, and adapted that language for genetics, computers and space travel. Even though the nation has faced economic blockade and seven major wars, its standard of...

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The gospel and Arab Palestinians
May 1998
Palestine

The gospel and Arab Palestinians

The Arab Palestinian population is estimated to be about 7 million worldwide. About 1.2 million live within the internationally recognized borders of Israel. Another 2.1 million live in Gaza and the West Bank. In Jordan the Palestinians are estimated to be 1.8 million. In addition, there are many hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who, since the Arab/Israeli war of 1948, have dispersed to neighbouring Arab countries. Several hundred thousands also live in North and South America, Europe and elsewhere. The present Arab Palestinian population is for the most part Sunni Muslim. Until the end of the nineteenth century about 40% claimed an ethnic Christian identity....

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