A new story in the Middle East, 20 years after 9/11

By September 30, 2021

Middle East (MNN) – Earlier this month, somber events in the United States marked the 20-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives when 19 terrorists – all from the Middle East and connected to al Qaeda – hijacked four commercial airplanes to carry out suicide attacks in the U.S.

The attacks left indelible marks on U.S. history and foreign policy. Uncharted Ministries co-founder Tom Doyle says they also had far-reaching consequences in the Middle East.

“Every Muslim out there, wherever we go around the globe, knows 9/11; even villages in Egypt where they don’t have a TV or radio,” Doyle says.

“It was a dividing line for Muslims. That was a ‘line in the sand’ where Muslims had to step over [and say], ‘yes, I want to be involved in terrorism; I believe jihad is the way.’ [The] majority of them do not.”

9/11 and the Middle East

Many countries in the Middle East region are known hotbeds of Islamic extremism and persecution. For example, 15 of the 19 hijackers involved in the 9/11 attacks hailed from Saudi Arabia. As described here, “Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s most restricted and difficult environments for Christians, especially those who convert from Islam.”

On September 11, 2001, al Qaeda hijackers crashed two planes into the World Trade Center in the heart of New York City.
(Wikimedia Commons)

“Some of these dangerous areas are literally the gates of hell, where Satan is so active, but Jesus is victorious. God’s moving powerfully; salvations and reconciliations are happening. So keep your nose to the grindstone, and pray for the church in the Middle East,” Doyle says.

“They are victorious. They are passionate for Jesus, and we can learn a lot from them.”

Most headlines from the Middle East may be discouraging, but God is writing a new story. “Globally, about 60-percent of Muslims don’t even practice their faith. They were just born into it,” Doyle says.

“In the last 20 years since 9/11, far more Muslims have come to faith in Christ than in the last 1,400 years of Islam.”

Uncharted Ministries equips believers in the West to advocate and pray for believers from a Muslim background. Learn more about Uncharted’s work here.

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Iran is the fastest-growing Church per capita in the world; Afghanistan is number two. Great things are happening in Syria. Things are happening in difficult places like the Gaza Strip,” Doyle says.

Keep an eye on the headlines so you can effectively “pray the news,” but don’t lose Kingdom focus. “It’s a very unsettling time for us as believers as we look at things going on, but we have to remember that Almighty God is on the throne and there’s no panic in heaven,” Doyle says.

“Jesus is returning. Let’s make the most of our efforts and our opportunities now before He comes.”



In the header image, Chief Master Sgt. of the Space Force Roger A. Towberman bows his head during a moment of silence during the Pentagon September 11th Memorial Service on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., Sept. 11, 2021. (DOD Photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Carlos M. Vazquez II)