Despite birthing many of the earliest Christian churches, the Middle East and North Africa have endured centuries with little or no access to the Gospel. Today, four of every five Muslims – 20% of the world’s population – have never heard the Good News of Jesus Christ. It is estimated that only 10% of missionaries are working among Muslims, with some estimates as low as 1%. This translates to roughly one missionary for every 1 million Muslims. And yet despite all this, recent decades have seen an unprecedented Christian witness among the Arab world. More Muslims have become followers of Jesus Christ in the last 25 years than in the previous 1250 years!
As Jesus reveals Himself across the region through visions, dreams, and miracles, and as over 350 ministries work together to disciple new believers, an amazing movement of the Holy Spirit is taking place. Families and marriages are being healed. A Spirit of love and freedom is taking root and bringing redemption and hope for the first time.
It has been reported that hundreds of former sheikhs and imams – now Christ followers – are leading many out of Islam, with multiple cases of entire mosques coming to faith in Jesus. These leaders and other former fundamental Islamists make up 20% or more of new Christian leaders in the region. Tens of thousands of Muslim background believers are becoming dedicated intercessors who fast and pray for the Gospel to penetrate neighboring communities. People groups who have never before had one church now have more than 50 or 100 after just two years of engagement.
Despite ongoing persecution and loss of possessions, homes, and loved ones, these new believers are boldly continuing to serve Jesus. They have truly counted the cost, and they know the worth of their newfound faith.