Middle East Peoples
Who They Are
The peoples of the Middle East are predominately Arab, with a few exceptions such as the Jews. However, beneath the surface in places like Syria and Palestine are ancient cultures and peoples which predate the Arab invasion of the 6th century. This explains in part the great diversity we find in the Middle East, almost akin to Europe. Another reason for the diversity in the Arab world are the hundreds of tribes and tribal confederations, which still play an important role in both social and political life.
Religiously, the Middle East is divided down the faultline of Sunnis and Shiites, who to this day are engaged in a vicious civil war that has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands. Over the last 1300 years it has claimed the lives of millions. Although the Shiites only make up 15 percent of Muslims wordwide, in the Middle East their numbers are higher, perhaps twice the global average. Even so, as a minority they have been terribly mistreated, especially in Saudi Arabia. The reverse is taking place in Iraq and Syria where, the Shiites are in power and there the Sunnis are in control. This conflict has created the worst humanitarian disaster since WWII, with millions of refugees.
What God Is Doing
Thousands of Muslims in the Arab world are coming to know Jesus in the most significant advance of the gospel in this region since the rise of Islam. In spite of the chaos caused by Al Qaeda, ISIS and other terrorist groups, God has used the so-called extremists to rip the veil off the deception of Islam. For the first time, churches of muslim background believers are emerging in the Middle East and meeting openly in countries like Lebanon.
How To Pray:
-Pray that new believers among the refugees in Lebanon and Jordan might one day be able to return to Syria and establish churches there.
-Pray for the conversion of leaders in the Middle East, such as Assad of Syria who has significant contact with Christians.
-Pray for the development of media resources in Arabic that have cultural relevance to different demographics in the Middle East.
-Pray for an end to the conflict and unrest in Yemen, Syria and Iraq, and that believers there might flourish in a time of peace.
|Day||Prayer Focus||Hub Country||Population|
|2||Saudi Arabs||Saudi Arabia||21,118,000|
|4||Iraqi Arab Shiites||Iraq||15,000,000|
|5||Iraqi Arab Sunnis||Iraq||8,000,000|
|12||Saudi Shiites||Saudi Arabia||2,000,000|
|22||Saudi Bedouin||Saudi Arabia||1,130,000|
|27||Middle East Domari||Turkey||600,000|