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Call for “Islamic power-bloc” by Iran’s ...

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Call for “Islamic power-bloc” by Iran’s supreme leader

Country/Region: Iran, Middle East and North Africa

Ayatollah_Ali_Hosseini_Khamenei_4X3.jpg
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei
GFDL by sajed.ir

Iran’s supreme leader has called on the world’s Muslim-majority nations to form an “international Islamic power-bloc”, laying down an ominous challenge to Western powers.

In a message to more than 2.5 million Hajj pilgrims in Saudi Arabia on 5 November, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said that Islamic countries should “make the most of [the] opportunity” created by the Arab Spring, as well as the anti-capitalist movement across the world.

He said that Islam has become the guiding principle of the Arab uprisings despite the efforts of secular rulers to curtail the influence of religion in their countries. And pointing to the victory of the Islamist Ennahda Party in Tunisia's recent elections, he predicted similar outcomes elsewhere: "Without doubt, free elections in any Islamic country will hardly result in anything except what happened in Tunisia."

Heralding a global power shift and issuing an ominous challenge to Western powers, the Ayatollah said that “the West, the United States and Zionism are weaker than ever before", adding:

During the last decades, arrogant powers, led by the United States, had reduced regional states to a state of subjugation through their political and security ploys… But now, they are the primary target of disgust and hatred of the region's nations.

He urged the entire umma (Islamic nation) and especially the revolutionary nations to "continuity of their stance and avoidance of slackness in their resolve" and "vigilance against the plots of arrogant international powers".

The Ayatollah’s comments will raise alarm among Christians in the Middle East and North Africa, who are often associated with the West and are already feeling vulnerable and insecure as a result of the Arab Spring, which has seen Islamist groups growing in power and influence. There has, for example, been an increase in anti-Christian attacks in Egypt since the revolution, and at least 100,000 Christians have emigrated from the country as a result of the aggressive tactics of hard-line Muslims.

The Ayatollah did advise the revolutionary nations to maintain "national unity and official recognition of sectarian, tribal and ethnic differences" as "a precondition for future success", but his own country, Iran, is hardly a model of this. Christians there face regular and severe harassment from the authorities, who are trying to clamp down on the growing house church movement of converts from Islam, as well as the traditional churches.

If the Arab Spring movement were to develop into an “Islamic power-bloc”, Christians would surely be in increasing danger across the region.

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christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

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  • On this Good Friday, give thanks to God for the death of Christ and for His gift of eternal life. Praise Him too for the example of those Christians who have persevered in their faith at the risk of their lives and who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of Christ and the Gospel. Pray that their martyrdom will inspire their suffering brothers and sisters in Christ to endure whatever hardships befall them and will convince their persecutors of the truth and power of the Gospel. Pray too that their bereaved families and churches will not grieve without hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 4 hours ago

  • Cry out to the Lord for Christians in the Central African Republic (CAR) who have been driven from their homes by the violence that has engulfed their country. Attacks by Islamist Séléka militants and retaliation from “anti-balaka” militias has generated a huge humanitarian crisis in which around two million people, many of them Christians, are in need of emergency assistance. Give thanks for the work of Barnabas partners who have been providing food rations to hundreds of displaced believers in the capital, Bangui, and distributing food, medicines, clothing and seeds to thousands in various regions. Pray that the aid will reach those who need it most, and that the Lord will comfort the relatives and friends of the thousands who have been killed in the fighting. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Apr 2014 00:00

  • “Jesus Christ performed tremendous miracles in all our lives through this Shalom Camp.” A pastor spoke of how God had worked through a Barnabas-sponsored weekend Bible camp for persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka. The camp was attended by believers from five different churches that had been the target of threats or attacks by Buddhist or Hindu extremists. The participants heard teaching on the Biblical basis for persecution and took part in group discussions; they came away refreshed and encouraged, and for many the camp was a time of great spiritual renewal. Give thanks to the Lord for the peace He has brought to these persecuted believers, and ask that the weekend will continue to bear much fruit in their lives. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Pray for a church leader in Sri Lanka, S.S. Johnpillai, who was threatened at gunpoint by attackers who claimed to be Special Forces officers. The minister was in a hut next to his church building in Guadalupe, Trincomolee when, he said, the men “appeared out of nowhere”. The intruders put a gun to Johnpillai’s head and accused him of holding a Communion service in honour of the founder of the Tamil Tigers, the government’s opponents in the country’s long and bloody civil war. The government had that day made it a criminal offence to commemorate the group. The gunmen ignored Johnpillai’s protests that he had not dedicated Communion to the group’s founder, and they threatened to shoot him. Ask the Lord to support and strengthen Johnpillai as he recovers from this terrifying ordeal. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Lift up to the Lord persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka, where at least 65 anti-Christian incidents took place during 2013, including repeat attacks on several believers and their property in October 2013. However, a Sri Lankan government minister from a Buddhist nationalist party denied the accounts, saying that they might be “made up”. The minister claimed that Sri Lankans are “one family … trying to live together after a long civil war”. Pray that the Sri Lankan government will recognise the danger that our brothers and sisters face from militant Buddhists and that the authorities will provide effective protection for vulnerable Christians. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Apr 2014 00:00

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