Since New Year’s Eve several countries in the Middle East and North Africa have experienced a wave of unprecedented social unrest played out in street demonstrations, many of them ending in violence. The countries involved include Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria and more. The goal for most protesters, as far as can be discerned, is to replace long-time autocratic regimes with some version of democracy, or at least a more open society.
Among the more than 500 million people in the region many are fed up. They want to share in the freedoms, opportunities, and material wellbeing they’ve seen in the West or elsewhere in the world. They do not generally want to transpose Western values and practices upon their cultures but rather develop their own versions of open societies that respect human dignity, life, and liberty.
Christians can and should support all efforts to achieve human freedom. To do this, Christians do not necessarily need to “take sides” in the political processes at work in the region, although this may at times be warranted too. They can support change by presenting moral structures and providing principles based upon a Christian worldview.
The Word of God is not a political manual, yet it speaks to politics. Our task is to ever seek to apply unchanging biblical principles in a rapidly changing world.
© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2011
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