MIDDLE EAST – Threatened Church
Focus in the Middle EastGZB encourages the church and helps her to be relevant for society from a minority position.
In the Middle East, churches try to be a witness of their faith in a predominantly Muslim society. In some countries, Christians receive less and less space to express their faith. Out of fear for the outside world, believers ‘hide’ themselves behind the church walls. By doing that the churches lose contact with society and therefore also its meaning for society. However, there are also Christians who realise they need to go outside their church buildings and encourage others to do the same.
GZB is involved in the Action Chrétienne en Orient (ACO). This organization works in partnership with the Armenian Evangelical Church and the Arabian Evangelical Church in Syria, Lebanon and Iran. In Egypt, social work among the disabled is being supported in partnership with the Presbyterian and Coptic Orthodox churches. Since 2006, there is a partner relation with the Evangelical Theological Seminary of Cairo (ETSC). In Israel, GZB works together with Arab Christian and (Messianic) Jewish organizations. Projects here focus on reconciliation between Jews and Arabs and help for the needy (e.g. Holocaust survivors, school meals for poor children etc.).
Countries: Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Egypt, Algeria and Israel/Palestinian Territories
Arie van der Poel
Regional Coordinator Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia