Middle East/North Africa (MNN) — Honor and shame play a significant role in the Middle East and North Africa. Community expectations set the standard for acceptable behavior. When individuals step outside of that, they’re shamed until they rejoin the fold. Learn more about honor-shame cultures here.
In the MENA region, following Jesus is risky because nearly everyone in the wider society is Muslim. Honor-shame culture dictates that following Islam is the community standard. So, behaving outside of those bounds – becoming a Christian, for example – is “shameful” and must be corrected.
This is why International Media Ministries connects with people on a one-to-one level. Executive Director Denise Godwin explains, “It’s always important to craft the message according to the culture that you’re going to; one size does not fit all.”
The Church grows as a result of these “undercover” efforts. Learn more about IMM’s work here.
Sharing Christ in the Islamic heartland
International Media Ministries uses media and technology to bring the hope of Christ to millions. In places like the Middle East and North Africa, this “undercover” media outreach helps grow the Church.
“At International Media Ministries, we are in the business of getting Jesus on every screen,” Godwin says.
“It’s safe to start your journey to Christ online, or in a chat environment, where [society] doesn’t know what you’re doing,” she adds when describing how they reach people in honor-shame cultures.
“That’s the key to many people entering the Church. It may take them a while to reach that point…but they start their journey privately through some kind of media.”
Godwin says building community is another important aspect of their work. “People [often] believe when they start this journey…that they’re the only person in their community [who has] embraced faith in Jesus Christ,” she explains.
“The truth is there [are] many people out there and they’re anxious to have community with other people in their culture who believe in Jesus Christ.”
IMM brings new believers out of isolation and connects them with other Christians in a safe and effective way.
Now that you know, what will you do? “We would love for everyone listening to come alongside us in prayer,” Godwin suggests as a first step.
Pray for people in the MENA region who need to know Christ. Pray they will encounter Him soon. Pray IMM’s efforts will bring the Gospel to places unreached by traditional means.
If God has financially blessed you, click here to support IMM’s work. Your gift helps tell the story that changes lives and multiply storytellers through production and training.
“Help us keep communicating [with] people in closed parts of the world.”
Header image is a stock photo by Colin Behrens from Pixabay.