A New Arab World

This op-ed from a CNN journalist is worth reading… note the hope that was pined for in the new Arab World.  The article was entitled “A new Arab World is coming, with or without U.S.” I had to chuckle… we Americans do tend to think we have a corner market on new.

John Esposito, a leading professor of Islamic-Christian studies confirms that “What has occurred is not an attempt at an Islamist takeover but a broad-based call for reforms.” (source)

Down with Dictators
Creative Commons

Will their really be reform and freedom in the Arab World?  The prediction in this article that “it may take time, and it may get messy” couldn’t be further from true. In the ensuing 5 years since the article was written Syria has erupted, ISIS is on the scene, and scores are dead.

Of course this remains to be seen, but I hope and pray that religious freedom, and the freedom to change ones religion become values in these new societies.  I pray that economic growth and productivity abound. I pray that the opressed learn the wonderful feeling of freedom and the pride that comes from a hard days’ work for honest pay.

I hope corruption becomes a dirty word in the Middle East, instead of the status quo, and that entrepreneurialism is encouraged and rewarded.  I long for women to have equal rights, to be respected, not only by governments, but by their families and cultures.  I long for Christians to be able to worship in freedom, to share the hope of their Saviour with their friends, to build churches and meet in homes without fear of retribution.

May God bring about a temporal peace, yes, and even free societies… but even more, may he create the kind of environment where Arabs, the sons of Abraham and Ishmael, are free to consider eternal life and eternal peace with their creator. And may we all look towards an eternal kingdom of peace that will be from everlasting to everlasting.

About Scott Gustafson

Scott Gustafson has extensive experience in ministry and business in the Middle East, having lived or worked in the region for 20 years. He is a PhD candidate at Vrije Universiteit working with the Extreme Beliefs Project. He is a guest lecturer and is also the Managing Partner of Purpose Global Strategies, an International Business and non-profit consulting firm. He advises large funding agencies as well as indigenous businesses and ministries in Sudan, Jordan, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. He has an MA in Intercultural Communication from Moody Graduate School, and a BA in Nursing and Biology from Western Michigan University. Scott and his wife have 2 children and they live in Grand Rapids, MI.