Why Evangelism is losing the Middle East

Why Evangelism is losing the Middle East


norman lebrecht

January 19, 2019

For instance.




  • Sadly, there is ample material to pillory the shortcomings of all three major Middle East religions.

    • Viola da Bracchio says:

      I believe it’s the hamfisted efforts of US culture to insinuate itself in the region that’s been pilloried here, Bill.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      When christians start killing innocent men, women and children on the streets of Europe – which opened its heart to them – I’ll agree with you.

    • Alex Davies says:

      As far as Christianity is concerned, I honestly think that the blame lies more with American and other western evangelical Christians whose interventions in the Middle East have perhaps tended to be detrimental, not with the very small and very ancient Christian communities themselves.

  • Viola da Bracchio says:

    It’s kind of you to upload something especially for Doug :))

    He’ll be happy-clapping along to this all weekend now – and smiling his very special smile.

  • Jean says:

    I could feel the presence of the spirit, amen

  • Alex Davies says:

    Does anyone know to what extent Christians in the Middle East are actually evangelising? I think most of them are just trying to survive, let alone win converts from other religions. Furthermore, most of the Christians in the Middle East belong to ancient Churches that have had to work out a way of coexisting with their mostly Muslim neighbours ever since the 7th century. I may well be wrong, but it was my impression that they have mostly been concerned with passing on the faith to the next generation rather than trying to convert their neighbours (which I’m fairly certain was more or less impossible during the Ottoman period). I think it may be a mistake to think of Middle Eastern Christians as evangelising in the way that we would understand the term in the West.

    • I’m a member of one of those ancient churches, although in New Jersey. And yes, while in theory they should be trying to evangelize any non believer, in practice, the main concern is for “our people”. As for passing the faith onto the next generation, that has become a major concern in America since one can easily make it in life outside of the faith.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      Actually, for most of the time since the 7th century, the Moslems have had little real interest in securing converts to Islam. It is really only in the last hundred years that this has changed.

  • Jack says:

    And precisely what has this to do with anything on a music-focused blog? Pretty childish, I’d say, Norman.

  • John Marks says:

    Dear Norman,

    Just making sure that everyone realizes that these young people are Theology/Divinity students.

    That is not Belmont College in Nashville (alma mater of Melinda Doolittle of American Idol fame https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzpPmfATSLc), and they are not studying to be Ministers of Music.

    They are amateurs, in over their heads.

    As fate would have it, yr hmbl srvt John Marks is a refugee from the US Roman Church. I now worship at a US ARAB Melkite Syriac Byzantine church. I wish you could hear the (non-professional) choir chanting 4th-c. hymns in non-Western scales. (Syriac is a sister language to Aramaic). It makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

    Those young people you appear to be making fun of take their lives in their hands every day they profess that Jesus is their Lord.

    John Marks

    • norman lebrecht says:

      I’m aware of the threats they endure, John. The Middle East is inhospitable to faith minorities. But why would they post a video that is, to put it kindly, so remote from even tempo and pitch accuracy?

      • John Marks says:

        Dear Norman,

        I was about to say, “The answer is: family members.”

        But, the video was posted by one Willem J. de Wit. Who might be Dutch. I believe that the backdrop to the video is a huge image of Martin Luther (which, in a funny way, is a “return of the repressed,” given the Reformation’s rage against the alleged Catholic “cult of the saints).

        So, we have a presumably Lutheran theologian (his YT channel identifies him as a theologian in Egypt) who is not that hot as a music critic, and he thinks this stuff is great and wants to share.

        To make reparation for that lapse in critical judgment, here is some ancient Melkite Chant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UP4ezlmWVng



  • Sharon says:

    Are these guys foreign missionaries? The accents do not sound Arabic. In which country did this take place?