Africa (MNN) — Kingdoms are colliding on the “Blood Line.”
“This is where Christianity and Islam meet. This is where all the conflict is,” explains Dean Vander Mey of Set Free Ministries.
“Nigeria, South Sudan, Ethiopia, [and] Somalia: if you look at the amount of people who have died there in the last 10 years, you’ll see an amazing amount. It’s in the millions.”
The Blood Line runs 10-degrees north of the Equator and spans 14 countries.
Later this week, the Pope is visiting three countries in and around this danger zone.
According to a recent report by The Pew Research Center, both Muslim and Christian populations in sub-Saharan Africa (a region which also includes the Blood Line) are expected to “increase dramatically” by 2050.
Muslim-Christian violence in this region has also been on the uptick. From West to East, the Blood Line is full of religious rage.
Christians in Mali are endangered by recent Muslim violence. The radical Muslim group Boko Haram is targeting Christians in Nigeria, Cameroon, and Chad. Radicals on both sides of the religious fence are at-odds in Central African Republic.
Meriam Ibrahim, a young Christian woman sentenced to death for apostasy, personifies the troubles Christians face in Islamic Sudan.
South Sudan, though the world’s youngest nation, has yet to see a time of peace. According to Open Doors USA, persecution due to the rise in Islamic extremism affects all types of Christianity in Ethiopia. The latest from Somalia reveals an even bigger threat to Christians than al-Shabaab may be developing.
In all 14 of these countries, and in neighboring countries like Uganda, vulnerable kids are highly at-risk of exploitation and recruitment by radical Muslims.
That’s why Set Free is partnering with local Christians to protect them, Vander Mey says. “There’s almost a ‘race’ for the children – who’s going to educate them?”
Loss of one or both parents is of the main reasons children living in the Blood Line are vulnerable. Set Free and its in-country church partners are giving vulnerable kids a safe place to grow and develop.
A small village school that started with a pastor and 42 children has grown to several Christian facilities educating 4,500 kids throughout Uganda.
“You bring in Truth and love to these children, and you show them who Christ is, and they’re not going to fall for other things that are simply not true,” says Vander Mey, explaining how their schools prevent terrorist recruitment.
Operation Blood Line
Through the schools, Set Free and its partners meet physical needs and help kids grow intellectually. They also walk children and staff through a process of prayer and forgiveness, which results in freer lives and less anger.
The approach of Set Free is attractive to Blood Line communities, who tire of the anger and rhetoric preached by radical imams (Muslim teachers). Aware of their work in Uganda, South Sudan’s government recently asked the ministry to “set up shop” at one of their schools.
“Please come and teach us how to forgive. Teach us how to live together, and we will give you the school if you teach us how to do this,” officials told Vander Mey.
Contact Set Free here if you can help them purchase 500 desks needed for the school to begin. Or, click here and designate “Outreach – Africa” to help Set Free continue their operations in the Blood Line.