Israel (MNN) — While the West has already celebrated Easter, the Middle East will be celebrating the resurrection of Christ this weekend, April 12–traditional Easter.
Unfortunately, it’s not a safe time for Christians, says Tom Doyle with E3 Partners.
“This is traditionally the week that they are threatened. Recently an Imam in Syria said, ‘We’ll wash the streets in Christian blood if they try to celebrate Easter and Resurrection Day.'”
New threats of violence, nuclear talks between Iran and the United States, Islamic State’s efforts to take Yemen, and more, have the whole region on alert. “It’s a place where the Bible, politics, and religion collide on a daily basis.”
The people of Israel, both Israelis and Arabs, are on edge because of the Iran nuclear talks, says Doyle. “We have a nation that has broadly announced that they want to wipe Israel off the map. That’s the goal. There’s nervousness there.”
Because of that nervousness, there’s also an open door. Doyle says, “Thirty percent of Israelis–this would be Jews and Arabs–were suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome. It’s a critical time in Israel, a very uncertain time.”
Doyle adds, “We can’t have faith in the government, in peace treaties, and all of these things. And I think it does make people question their existence, and then obviously that opens up conversations about the Lord.”
E3 Partners understands the needs and is organizing an ongoing prayer effort on their 8Thirty8 Facebook page. Doyle says, “We really want to pray for believers in harm’s way–those who are in prison, persecution, and danger.”
Doyle adds, “Before ISIS, we were sending out maybe one prayer request a day. [Now,] sometimes there are four, five, and six a day. There’s so much that’s happening.”
Doyle is encouraging you to set your smart phones to 8:38 to remember to pray each day for persecuted Christians in the Middle East. You can also like their Facebook page to get daily prayer notices sent to your phone.
As Easter is celebrated in the Middle East this weekend, pray for God’s hand of protection upon Christians in the region. Pray also that God would work through the lives of Christians to bring many to Himself this week.
You can read more stories of Christians who are living out their faith where it’s not safe to believe. Click here to get your copy of Tom Doyle’s book, “Killing Christians,” and support Mission Network News at the same time.