For the past 35 years, I have had the wonderful opportunity to travel to and from the Middle East.
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I have been deeply blessed to meet Jews, Muslims and Christians in and from the region, as I have sought to understand this fascinating and complicated region.
ALL ARAB NEWS was born on September 1, 2020 out of my passion to help the world’s 600 million Evangelical Christians understand this region better and know how to pray more knowledgeably and faithfully for its people and leaders, including for the Church here in the Epicenter of the world.
After all, far too often, the so-called “mainstream media” ignores the most important events and trends in the Middle East and North Africa.
Or they report them with so much extreme bias that many Christians feel they have no media outlet that they can trust.
Rather than rage against such bias, my colleagues and I decided to do something positive.
To create a news outlet that provides fair, balanced, credible and trustworthy coverage and analysis.
To tell you what is happening and explain why we believe it matters.
Readers of this website – and my recent book, Enemies and Allies – know that I have previously led six delegations of Evangelical Christian leaders to meet with Arab kings and crown princes, presidents and prime ministers, religious clerics and business leaders. I’ve done so first and foremost because God has opened extraordinary doors.
But also because I believe the best way to explain what’s happening in this region is to talk directly the men and woman who are shaping this region for better or worse.
WHAT ARE OUR DELEGATION’S OBJECTIVES?
Today, I’m excited to share with you that I am beginning my seventh delegation.
This one is the first-ever “Abraham Accords Delegation of Evangelical Business & Media Leaders.”
For the next nine days, a group of American, Canadian and Israeli Evangelicals we will be traveling to the Kingdom of Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and the State of Israel – and here’s why.
My colleagues and I have established four specific goals for this trip:
1 - Meet and build long-term strategic relationships with the most senior leaders in Bahrain, the UAE and Israel.
2 - Receive exclusive briefings from these leaders on how the Abraham Accords came to pass, what progress has been made so far and what the future holds for peace and security, tourism, trade, religious freedom and inter-faith relations.
3 - Pray for the leaders of these three countries – especially in light of the Iranian threat – in accordance with the Biblical commands to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6) and to “pray for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” (I Timothy 2:2).
4 - Improve and expand fair, honest and trustworthy reporting from these three countries – and the broader Middle East – through Christian media.
A VERY SENSITIVE MOMENT
To be sure, our trip comes at a very sensitive moment, with spiking tensions around the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque, renewed rocket fire from Gaza and rising fears over Iran getting a nuclear bomb.
In recent days, as we have reported, the governments of the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco have sharply criticized Israel’s handling of riots on the Haram al-Sharif, what is known to Israelis as “The Temple Mount.”
At the request of the UAE, the UN Security Council held an emergency session of the flare up of violence in and around the third most revered site in Islam.
On Tuesday, the UAE summoned Israel’s Ambassador Amir Hayek and informed him of the “country’s strong protest and denunciation of the events taking place in Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque, including attacks on civilians and incursions into holy places that resulted in the injury of a number of civilians.”
The UAE also announced that it decided to cancel its anticipated participation in Israel’s Independence Day “flyby" on May 5. Two Emirati civilian carriers, Ethihad Airways and Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, were supposed to be part of the celebration for the first time.
In light of all this, I ask you to pray that the Lord would grant us physical and spiritual protection, as well as good health and stamina.
Please pray that the Lord would open doors for us to meet with every leader He sovereignly intends.
Please pray for the Lord to grant us wisdom and discernment to know what questions to ask, and ears and hearts to truly hear and understand the answers and understand their significance.
Finally, please pray without ceasing for restored calm and security in Jerusalem and Gaza, and for the Lord to thwart the nuclear ambitions of the Iranian regime.
For our part, we promise to report from all three capitals in the coming days – Manama, Abu Dhabi and Jerusalem.