MENA - Middle East and North Africa

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.



  • 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.’


Please pray:

  • 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.

Feb 18

Grief in the Gulf – trusting God in tragedy

Posted by Penny Vinden

The phone rings – I recognise the number. It’s J, the Regional Secretary for the Middle East and North Africa.

The news is not good. Three Christian brothers have been killed when a bomb destroyed the home they were in. We knew one of them - a student, Amar, whom J describes as ‘a young man filled with passion for Christ.’

Nov 19

Beirut and Paris: holding on to God’s promises

Posted by Penny Vinden

Over the past week the world has been shocked once more by attacks on citizens in Beirut (Lebanon) and Paris (France). We have recoiled in horror at the destruction caused by a few people with a few guns and a few explosives.

Naturally in IFES we are concerned for our brothers and sisters in Christ, students and staff workers who live in these cities. And we are grateful for messages from both LIVF Lebanon and GBU France that students and staff are all safe.

Sep 16

What is it really like to be a refugee?

Posted by Philippa White

Vinh as a 3-year-old as his family is rescued, Vinh as an IFES student, Vinh with his own family today.

For those of us living in stable countries, the life of a refugee can be hard to imagine. And the current crisis in the Middle East and Europe – despite the constant news coverage - can seem remote and unreal.

Apr 30

A love story and more

Posted by Penny Vinden

For years Jasmeen* was a secret Christian – they kill you for being a Christian in this country. Her father had an important political position. He decided to marry her to the son of the local mufti (Islamic scholar). Jasmeen had no choice – she must accept!

She had a friend, Murad* – another secret Christian who taught at a university. Yet Murad had another secret: he wanted to marry Jasmeen and start a Christian family.



Regional Secretary

c/o IFES International Services
5 Blue Boar Street
Oxford OX1 4EE
​United Kingdom

+44 (0)1865 263777

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