Middle East (MNN) — Protests across the Middle East and North Africa about an anti-Islamic video, bombings in Somalia, attacks on American Embassies in Egypt and Libya on 9/11, and violence in France to protest an anti-Islamic cartoon. Is this unrest positive or negative when it comes to sharing Christ?
An expert on the matter is Robert Williams with Pioneers. He travels in and out of the region regularly. "I think God is shaking these nations through unrest and disturbances. For some of the Muslims who are there, I think it is opening them up to the Gospel because they're seeing the hard and dark side of the majority religion and wondering if this is really what I want to believe in."
Williams was most recently in Egypt where the Muslim Brotherhood has taken control. Iran faced a similar situation, and now Christianity is exploding. Christians told Williams, "If it's going to take a full Islamic government taking control, we're willing to take that persecution if it means that many, many people in [Egypt] will come to faith in Christ."
Stories of moderate Muslims coming to Christ in the region are widespread. But, Williams says, it's not limited to them. "I'd say God is even working in the lives of some of the hardline, more radical Muslims as well. We hear of Jesus appearing to people in dreams and visions as a result, he's opening them up to the Gospel."
While it appears Muslims are ready to come to Christ, Christians in the West aren't supporting the work there. "Close to one fourth of the world's population–1.6 billion people on planet earth–call themselves Muslims. And they understand that we need to redeploy our resources to reach this large segment of the world's population, but a lot of people are fearful."
Williams is praying. "I pray that God would open the eyes of more and more Christians and churches to get involved in this increasing harvest field. It's just so exciting to be involved in outreach to Muslims in this day and age."
Williams is also grateful for the safety of Pioneers workers. "A lot of the workers that I know in country–Christian expatriates–are doing fine. These incidents of violence tend to be sporadic, and certain parts of cities and most of the rest of the cities are calm and not affected."
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