Middle East (MNN) — Take a look at any headline today, and you can see the Arab Spring has led to a Christian Winter in the Middle East. The political uprisings of 2011 sparked a wave of unrest that rippled from Tunisia to Iran. Angry protestors shook the foundations of corrupt governments and cleared the regional stage for hardline Islamic entities, like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
How can Christ be shared in such a hostile environment? Berry Feiss of The JESUS Film Project has some good news.
“That barrier is being broken today,” says Feiss, “simply because digital media provides an opportunity for people to see and hear the Gospel in a private environment.
“One broadcaster has called the satellite dish ‘the national flower of Iran.'”
The Middle East holds a third of the world’s top 30 worst persecutors of Christians, according to the Open Doors USA 2014 World Watch List. ISIS (also known simply as the Islamic State in Iraq) is the most violent anti-Christian entity in the region; earlier this summer, Christians were entirely driven out of Mosul.
In many Middle Eastern nations such as Iran, Egypt, and Turkey, blasphemy laws make it nearly impossible for Christians to share the Gospel. In addition, apostasy laws sometimes put a death sentence on conversion, which makes it deadly to even follow Christ. It’s no surprise, given these elements already in place, that the rise of radical Islam has created a Christian Winter.
But, the Lord is creating avenues for His Truth to be made known.
“The Holy Spirit is working, through this film and in the lives of individuals, to draw people to Christ,” shares Feiss.
The real Jesus
Millions of people in the Middle East are naturally curious about Jesus, who many respect as the great “Prophet Isa.” But once they discover who He really is, when they hear the Word of God in their heart language while watching the JESUS film safely in the privacy of their homes, the response is great.
“The Holy Spirit has to be the One that carries the message into the heart. We can do what we can do to communicate the Good News, but the Holy Spirit has to be the One to change the heart,” notes Feiss.