2017 is set to be fraught with challenges for the people of the Middle East, Christian and Muslim alike. A brief summary: 1) Iraq will remain precarious, even though the battle to retake Mosul is making progress: Shiite-dominated rulers in Baghdad face conflict with an unwilling Sunni minority. 2) Turkey’s stability is threatened by challenges from IS and from Kurdish militants, who have killed some 1,000 Turkish soldiers in the last two years. 3) There are hopeful signs in Iran, though changes could be slowed by the death of former President Rafsanjani and the expectation of more hostile US policies under Donald Trump. The poor health of supreme leader Ali Khamenei might mean a potential leadership change soon, which could have serious implications for the entire region. 4) The mood in Syria seems to be turning towards a ceasefire and acceptance of Assad staying on as president, at least in the short term. 5) Egypt is expected to see new protests and tensions with continued terrorism, and the economy will remain the number one challenge. The whole region remains in much need of continuing prayer: yet every challenging phase is also a chance for Christians to rise up as salt and light, and to offer reconciliation and restoration where they are desperately needed.
Middle East: the year aheadWritten by David Fletcher 20 Jan 2017
- Pray: for peace and stability, in a region which so much needs them, and for all who are working to bring these about. (1 Peter 3:11)
- More: www.sat7uk.org/briefing-january-2017-year-ahead