Jordan (MNN) ― Jordan's king has offered to strengthen Islamic ties with Thailand through cultural activies. What is widely seen as a public relations effort may turn out to be what sets fire to the church.
Arab Church leaders were, at the same time, strengthening their unity in Amman. Global Advance Ministries' David Shibley says their April Frontline Shepherd's Conference in Jordan was the single largest gathering of evangelical pastors in that area of the world. "There were 195 pastors and church leaders from all of the evangelical denominations, and from six countries. These wonderful men are so committed to advancing the Gospel, to planting new churches."
Dedication to their outreach was evident, as many of the young, single pastors braved unrest in their home countries to attend the meetings.
One Iraqi pastor told Shibley he had been interrogated on his way to the conference, and knew he would be interrogated again on his way home. The implication was that it was a small price to pay for the tools he needed to shepherd the believers at home.
Shibley warns that, even as Middle East leaders gather this week to launch more Arab world reforms, the major key is missing. "I am deeply, deeply convinced that democracy cannot take hold in the Middle East unless the Gospel takes hold there. And the Gospel will not take hold in the Middle East without equipped pastors and church leaders."