Just like the the watchman replies, “Morning is coming, but also the night. If you would ask, then ask; and come back yet again… An oracle concerning Arabia… all the pomp of Kedar will come to an end.” (Isaiah21:11-16)
It seemed like no change would happen in this Arab Peninsula ever since Islamic religion has taken place, just like the oracle in the Bible. However, in these days we are seeing how this land is changing, both spiritually and socially.
Saudi Arabia has been rich with oil money and millions of pilgrims visiting Mecca every year. But it had faced a major economic crisis in 2015 with an 80% drop in international oil prices. During the pilgrimage period in 2018, the black cloth covering the Kaaba was torn. And in January 2019, a large swarm of black locusts appeared and covered the Kaaba temple of Mecca.
Also, the mission training for the multi-ethnic diaspora Christians is spreading to 10 cities and surrounding Gulf states, while the Christians are rising up with calls for the restoration of all nations. The gospel has been spread steadily through a small number of ministers and short-term missionary teams, and more locals have responded to the gospel in the past 2-3 years compared to the past 20 years.
For the third month since the Corona outbreak, public places, malls and shops were shut down, schools were closed, and gatherings of more than 50 people were banned, including weddings and funerals. People can only walk around in a certain area, and the nationwide curfew runs after 3 p.m. Locals wear masks and gloves and strictly keep the social distance, and do not visit neighbors or relatives even during the Ramadan.
Most shockingly, the fear for the epidemic has led to a shut-down of all mosques and even temples of Mecca and Medina –the holy place of Islam. For the first time since the start of Islam, these temples stopped the worship and is controlled 24 hours a day. Nevertheless, Mecca has the highest number of confirmed cases and deaths from the disease.
Although it is now Ramadan, no one’s questioning about shutting down the mosque. The country is trying to protect itself from Corona in the same way as the rest of the world, putting more emphasis on its health and security than it’s faith. Also, during the prolonged crisis, the country is putting up a stronger control system.
Two weeks ago, the Saudi Human Rights Council announced that it would respect and protect minority religions. But the very next day, a fine policy was announced for social gatherings of more than 5 people. If more than 5 people get together, they will be fined not less that $2600 and up to $13000 depending on the form of the meeting. It has been announced that 24-hour control will be made after Ramadan, and citizens are encouraged to use an app to issue a pass permit for movement within curfew hours. However, this app will expose all their information like travel routes and accompany, working in fact as a surveillance system. Although the country, through fear and anxiety caused by Corona, try to start the control system in this end times, local ministers are restlessly trying to break through in preaching the Gospel and raising disciples.
The teams are preaching to men and women of all ages, sharing about the end times very clearly. Due to the limits offline, they are now also trying a new way of preaching online, making the gospel spread more diverse and faster than ever. They are meetings prepared souls online and having fellowships, and also experiencing the grace of being connected as a church, regardless of the size.
Through missionary training, the multi-ethnic churches are rising up with the vision of the kingdom of God. They are not discouraged by the situation. Quite the reverse, the churches are getting prepared for the coming surveillance system.
Although Saudi Arabia has once taken the lead in idol worship, God will bring about the greatest and most amazing revival through the gospel in this end times, allowing the nation to willingly give itself to honor the house of the LORD. Israel(Isaac) and Arabs(Ishmael) seem to have become the last in the history of Gospel despite God’s promise. Yet in this end times when the fulfillment of God’s promise is so close, God will pour out to them the greatest revival and make them the first.
1. Lord! Oil price is falling again, and Coronavirus is spreading. This is a time of hardship for the frightened souls of Saudi, but we believe that the kingdom of God is advancing! Thank You for listening to our prayer and doing the new work of changing the religious laws of Saudi Arabia! Satan is starting the Anti’Christ control system, but even in the midst of it, would You lead the Saudi souls to return to You and walk with You! Would you turn them into a holy generation that ever looks back, until seeing the fulfillment of the words of God!
2. Lord! “Morning is coming, but also the night. Come back yet again.” Just as Your words say, may Saudi Arabia quickly return to the cross! Would You send out more workers to the field for the great harvest! Would You wake up even more multi-ethnic churches to form a great army along with the nation! May Saudi Arabia become the priest nation to lead the 1.8 billion Muslims back to the true path!