Middle East: Praying for an Arab Awakening

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Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin | No. 434 | Wed 20 Jun 2007

For decades 'secular' Arab nationalist dictators have bred a
culture of hatred and violence through local mosques, education and
media, primarily to motivate the Arab masses against Israel. The
fundamentalist Islamic indoctrination used has had a direct part in
radicalising a generation of Muslims. The Arab dictators are now
finding the Islamised masses are prepared to bite the hand that fed

For decades, Yassir Arafat's Fatah-led Palestinian Authority
fostered hatred and violence amongst the Arab Muslims of the
Palestinian Territories. Ultimately in January 2006 Islamic Hamas
was democratically elected. With Hamas openly committed to jihad to
destroy Israel and establish an Islamic state this was the first
death notice for 'secular' Arab nationalism. All Middle East Arab
dictators are living in dread of Islamic coups.

Crippling sanctions eventually forced Hamas to join with Fatah in a
unity government. That farcical union effectively ended as Hamas
militants launched a military coup against Fatah in the Gaza Strip
on Tuesday 12 June, completing a takeover by late Thursday 14 June.
While taking Fatah institutions in Gaza City, Hamas militants also
stormed the Rosary Sisters School using rocket propelled grenades.
Once inside they looted and rampaged, destroying all crosses and
burning Bibles. They also torched the nearby Roman Catholic Church.
The Jerusalem Post reports: 'Leaders of the Christian community in
the [Gaza] Strip expressed deep concern over the fate of the
Christians living under Hamas. They said most of them wanted to
leave the Gaza out of fear for their lives. An estimated 2,500
Christians live in Gaza City.' Furthermore al-Qaeda has infiltrated
the Gaza Strip and is specifically targeting Christian properties.

Meanwhile in the West Bank, Fatah staged its own coup expelling
Hamas from the unity government. Whether Fatah has enough popular
support in the West Bank to retain power is doubtful though, with
many observers expecting civil conflict to spread there too.

Liberal Egyptian author Kamal Gabriel recently described the
fratricidal violence in Gaza as the 'natural result of the
predominant discourse of hostility and incitement . . . adopted by
Palestinians of all persuasions and in all the factions -
religious, pan-Arab revolutionary and leftist. It is a discourse
whose aim was sowing hatred, having recourse to violence, and
enjoying spilling blood.' According to Gabriel this psychopathy -
which having taken root has become uncontrollable - is found
throughout the Greater Middle East, but nowhere is it as severe as
in the Palestinian Territories. Noting its 'catastrophic rate' of
increase, Gabriel concludes: '. . . this is the fruit that we are
harvesting because we sowed thorns for over half a century.'

Qatari reformist Dr Abd Al-Hamid Al-Ansari recently also stated, '.
. . terrorism is the outcome of a culture of hatred in the Arab
countries, and in order to eliminate it, the culture of hate must
be eliminated. . . . We need a culture that will restore the
importance of life and the value of the individual and will make
young people love the arts and the humanities . . . ' But Gabriel
asks '. . . can this come about when the fires of hatred have
already broken out [everywhere]?'

We who have witnessed the transforming power of the gospel and the
Spirit, with eyes firmly fixed on the God of the Bible and with
hearts encouraged by his promises and his faithfulness, answer
'Yes'. And so we pray.

[The foregoing quotes are via MEMRI (Middle East Media Research
Institute) < http://www.memri.org/ >]


* God will preserve his Church in the Palestinian Territories,
particularly in chaotic, dangerous Gaza; may he send his angels
to protect his children and minister to their needs and may the
Holy Spirit fill their hearts with faith and inexplicable peace.

'Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who
will inherit salvation?' (Hebrews 1:14 NIV)

* the sovereign and merciful God, who graciously throughout the
ages has generously poured out his Holy Spirit bringing awakening
and revival that has transformed communities and nations, will
bring a great awakening to the Arab nations.

'. . . we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great
love for us, God who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ
even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace you have
been saved.' (Ephesians 2:3b-5 NIV) '. . . if anyone is in Christ,
he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!' (2
Corinthians 5:17 NIV)

* lies will be exposed and eyes set to judge others will be turned
to examine self and see reality; may consciences be stirred; may
wisdom rise up and truth be recognised and embraced, for peace
and the Kingdom and glory of God.




Saudi-sponsored pro-jihad Islamic ideology has been sown across the
Arab world (and beyond) for decades. This has had a direct part in
radicalising a generation of Muslims and breeding a culture of
hatred and violence. Now the 'secular' Arab dictators are finding
the Islamised masses are prepared to bite the hand that fed them.
This has already happened in the Palestinian Territories where
Hamas, which is committed to destroying Israel and creating an
Islamic State, has popular support and now controls the Gaza Strip.
Christians in Gaza fear for their lives as militants affiliated
with Hamas and al-Qaeda attack Christian institutions. Liberal Arab
reformists are calling for the 're-education' of Arabs, ending the
culture of hatred, violence and death and replacing it with a
culture of life, love and beauty. So we pray for an Arab awakening.

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RL Prayer is moderated by Ron Clough, a commissioner
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Elizabeth Kendal researched and authored this message.