Alawites of Syria and Lebanon

* MUCH MORE about this people group at the JOSHUA PROJECT

All throughout Syria one will find Alawites, though most of them live around western Latakia and Damascus. Female Alawites enjoy more freedom than their traditional Muslim neighbors. Many Alawite women don't cover their heads and they often mingle with men. Yet Syria, one of the main countries where Alawites live, has often had Alawite leaders.

The Alawites are open to incorporating new ideas into their worship. Their religion permits animal sacrifice, their own form of communion and reincarnation. The Alawites celebrate several festivals, some of which are mirrors of the Christian's festival of Christmas and New Year. One unusual twist in their belief is that if they live blameless lives they will be born again as Christians! If only they knew the whole story! Because they are often branded as heretics by the Muslim majority in Syria, they tend to keep their beliefs a secret to outsiders. Their yearning for freedom of expression often places the Alawites in conflict with their rule-bound Muslim neighbors.

Their tendency towards freedom and open-mindedness is an opportunity for the message of Jesus Christ to reach their communities. About five percent of Syria and 31 percent of Lebanon is Christian, though most of these are from traditional branches of the Church.

Pray for a strong Holy Spirit revival among the Christians in Syria and Lebanon that will thrust forth hundreds of evangelists to the Alawites and Muslims in their midst.-CI

1 Sam.17:32-37

"David said to Saul, 'Let no one lose heart.... The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine'"

Goliath challenged the Israelites to a duel, defying the armies of the living God. But no Israelite warrior was willing to meet the challenge. David had experienced the Lord's protection in other difficult situations, and he was confident that the Lord would protect him as he volunteered to face Goliath. Today, we need more "Davids" in the frontier missions endeavor, men and women who recognize that the battle is not theirs, but the Lord's. We need people who will claim the victory that is already won through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Father, grant us courage to confront the enemy of our souls and to overcome our hesitancy and fear.

Source From Global Prayer