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)
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.