Lebanon violence provokes alarm for believers.

By July 19, 2006

Israel (MNN)–The Middle East Council of Churches says aside from threatening the stability of the region, the fighting in Lebanon could stymie ministries launched by churches and others.

This, in response to what could be a prolonged offensive by Israel into Lebanon. Israeli troop movement has been spotted, casting doubt over the outcome of any peace talk efforts.

The situation is further discouraging for national believers as evacuation plans take hold, and thousands of foreigners leave the region.

Voice of the Martyrs’ Todd Nettleton says with events changing minute to minute, their team has little choice but to proceed cautiously. “We have had staff members who have visited Lebanon, have visited with Christians there, we are doing printing projects in Arabic that go out across the Middle East. I don’t think I should get more specific than that.”

Many similar outreach groups say they’re extremely concerned about the safety of all those living in the region, Israeli, Lebanese, or Palestinian. They are not only urging restraint, but also prayer. “Pray for the Christians who are there. Pray for their safety and protection and pray that they will be a witness during this time.”

The crises and depression of war are forcing an introspection, says Nettleton. “Our prayer needs to be for Christians in the region, that this would be a great time of outreach, that they will be able to share the Gospel–to be able to live out the Gospel message and have that peace and assurance that, whatever happens to us here on earth, heaven is waiting for us.”

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