The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is a difficult one for Christian ministry. In these Muslim majority countries, heavy restrictions, isolation and fear can lead to Christians feeling that they are, as several Middle Eastern believers have described it, 'the minority of a minority of a minority'. Yet God is at work and followers of Christ show great courage and boldness.
IFES in MENA
- 7 affiliated and 5 unaffiliated movements
- pioneer work has started or is planned in 7 other countries
MENA region organises a cycle of 3 conferences over 3 years. The first one, that gathers each year over 200 students, aims to encourage the students and to address their own unique challenges. The second one is a week of Bible study training to help students engage more deeply with God’s word and to equip student leaders to lead and train others in their home countries. The last one is a conference for recent graduates; it aims to encourage them in their faith, to involve them in national ministries and to address the challenges they face. Such events are crucial not only for the training they provide, but for the encouragement they give to students who have little opportunity to meet other Christians.
View from the inside
Jamil, Regional Secretary for the IFES MENA region, writes: ‘The work of God should not be measured in terms of time, and ministry in closed countries even less so. The most important thing is to be present, to use every opportunity to preach the word, to support Christians on the spot, to seek to develop movements where as yet there is no IFES presence, and to strengthen the faith of those who are oppressed – helping them to persevere and to stand firm. Everything we do will then be a means not only to bring new souls to the lord but also to maintain the faith of those who are already Christians.’
- for protection and wisdom for Christian students and staff of the region;
- for grace and wisdom to live lives of obedience in the midst of conflict;
- for boldness to share their faith in Christ with other students;
- for new students and their fragile faith, that it would be strengthened and affirmed;
- for wisdom for the staff workers to choose where to organise the conferences;
- for peace throughout the Middle East and North Africa region.