I just read about a blogger who spent a week in an Egyptian prison for participating in the protests there. For blogging? Really???? Since I'm a blogger, it made me think. A lot. The main thing I got from his description of Egypt's prison system is... you don't want to go there..
In spite of the threat of prison and death, there is a grassroots movement sweeping through North Africa and the Middle East - or maybe more like a grassroots fire spreading out of control and no one knows where it will go next.
So far, Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen have been seared by the demand for freedom and the end to brutality. Even the people of the Gaza Strip have an anonymous Face Book page asking for the end of their terrorist government. Amazing! Knowing what little I know about Hamas, I'm sayin' that even having a FB page calling for freedom takes guts!
Let's rewind for a minute. In 1979, Iran's people turned out in mass, demanding an end to the brutality of their king, the Shah of Iran. Many wanted some type of democracy. What they got was something else - an extremist Islamic dictatorship which made the Shah's cruelty look like a beginner's class in Torture 101. Thirty years of it, in fact.
Then, in 2009, their young people couldn't take it anymore.
Ever felt like you've reached the end of your rope? Like you just couldn't take it anymore?
Ever go to prison for feeling like that?
Well, the young people in Iran did. Desperate for freedom, they busted loose, poured into the streets, raised their voices in protest... and died....Arrested, imprisoned, tortured, and executed. All because they wanted freedom. And yet, nothing changed.
Will they ever get the freedom they deserve? I devoutly hope so.
Yet I have to say - some already have it.
It seems that many Muslims are turning to Christ, not only in Iran but across the Middle East. So, who is witnessing to them? Apparently Christ Himself is appearing to many of them in dreams and visions. An unknown number have responded to these visions and have found the freedom Christ promises, even in the midst of great suffering. (John 8:31,32,36)
Sometimes I wonder: why do we not have widespread dreams like this sweeping across the West?
Is it because we don't need any more revelation, because we are already basking in the freedom that Christ gives?
Or is it because we don't want freedom at the cost of our own lives? (Luke 9:23, 24).
Sometimes I wonder...