Regional conflict brewing in the Middle East

By April 10, 2012

Syria (MNN) — Despite Syria agreeing to a UN-sponsored cease fire agreement last week, attacks have actually increased. Violence erupted yesterday along the Turkey-Syrian border as clashes sprung up between Syrian soldiers and rebel fighters. Two Turkish official were wounded when stray bullets hit a refugee camp in Turkey. This, coupled with refugee movement into Lebanon, has everyone wondering what will happen next.

Middle East expert with E3 Partners Tom Doyle says, "It could just explode into a regional war, which we all know that's only a half step way from a global conflict."

Doyle travels to the Middle East regularly. He's not sure there's any stopping this conflict. "The only thing that would take the spotlight off of Syria is to somehow rally the Arab nations in an attack against Israel."

Any way you view this situation it's not good for Christians. Doyle says. "The believers we have talked to, even though Assad certainly isn't a great guy by stretch by any means, feel like they're in better shape with him remaining in power."

Christians aren't hopeful about the rebels who want power. "Our leaders believe it's just going to get worse if the Sunnis take over because they've heard the chanting in the streets — death to the Christians and the Alawites to Lebanon." The Alawites are a branch of Shia Islam, which President Assad espouses.

The conflict is a constant threat. Doyle says, "There [are] tanks going up and down the streets. There [are] bombings going off continually. We're bring our E3 leaders out of Syria just to get a break for a while. They're just exhausted."

Despite the current conflict, God's light is shining and stories are emerging from the ashes. Doyle says Muslims are seeing Muslims kill Muslims, and they're wondering how their Islamic faith can allow that.

Doyle says, "House church leaders have said in the middle of the night they've had two and three Muslim families come, knock on the door and ask, 'Can we meet with you? We see you have joy in your faces, you're not afraid, and you're always there for us. But also we want to learn more about Jesus."

Many Christians around the world want to do something to help. Doyle says prayer is the best way to do that. E3 Partners has produced a resources to help you pray for the region more effectively. It's a book called, "Desperation." It's not a book written in a vacuum. "We went to the leaders [and] asked, 'What are your prayer requests?' So, all throughout the book, we not only have great pictures from those countries but prayer requests from the leaders. We tell about the history, where the country's going, the demographics, and what's happening with the Gospel."

The book also features a 31 day of prayer for the major cities of the Middle East — including Amman, Damascus, Cairo, and Jerusalem.

Mission Network News is making this hardcover book available to you for a gift of any amount. Just click on the Desperation link to give safely and securely.


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