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All articles in category Western Asia

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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The church in Israel today
March 1995
Israel

The church in Israel today

There is no doubt about it: the church of Christ in Israel has grown numerically over the last few years. Evangelism and the immigration of believing families, particularly from the former Soviet Union, have been the major sources of this growth. In addition, the number of Jewish-Christian families in Israel has also grown over the years, naturally leading to a growth in the number of children born to Jewish-Christian parents. New congregations have been formed in Jerusalem, Haifa and the centre of the country. The national Evangelistic Committee has continued to conduct co-operative evangelistic campaigns in various regions of Israel and on suitable occasions. Efforts...

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