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The Druse: An Unreached People
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It all began with the witness of an Arab Christian who brought his Druse friend in contact with members of the Peniel fellowship of Tiberias. A Druse man was converted, and began to witness to those closest to him. His wife was saved, other family members were saved, and pretty soon it became evident that God was working amongst this hitherto unreached people group.
The Druse religion is autonomous in Israel . Out of the one million Druse community scattered throughout Europe, the Middle East, North and South America, approximately 106,000 live in 22 villages located predominately in Israel´s northern region and on the Golan Heights .
The new Druse believers, are under the care of the Peniel congregation in Tiberias. The pastor writes that persecution has continued on and off all the time. Only four of the households are pinpointed by the Druse community. Molotov cocktails and small explosives have been thrown at property, and rejection from family and the wider Druse community has become a daily experience.
Brother P. has five children. His father in law is a burly man who once served as an officer in the security forces. He carries a gun and had promised his daughter that he will shoot her if he hears that she is involved in any way with the ‘Christians’. This is not an idle threat: in the last three decades there have been dozens of murders related to “family honour” committed in that same village. After tiring of himself being constantly present to monitor his daughter and her family, the father sent her brother in his stead. This young man also finally came to faith. When his father learned of his son’s new faith, he and the entire clan erupted in rage, becoming violent and threatening to take the woman and her children away from her husband.
On 15 February, a few of the sheiks and clan leaders issued an ultimatum to the four families known to be believers: give up your new religion or face the consequences. The church spirited the families out of the village to a retreat centre. Before long, however, all four of the families chose to return to their homes in the village, believing this was God’s direction to them.
Brother N. shared with the pastor that one night as a crowd of people approached his home, he and his family turned out all the lights and hid in a back room, praying. The crowd banged angrily on the door, but they kept praying quietly. Then the banging stopped. All was quiet. Cautiously, Brother N. peeked out of his window and saw something strange: downstairs, the crowd had stopped one metre from the front door. One man was pushing another towards the house, but no one in the front line was willing to go forward. The fear of the Lord stopped them! This kind of experience is crucial for the Druse believers at this time. In the midst of their very real danger they are experiencing God’s faithfulness. They are learning that it is to Him they must turn for help, not to men.
The Druse believers are going through a baptism of fire, often before they have been baptised in water. The challenge is to show them compassion and loving care as they suffer, but to know to correct them when they fail in the flesh.
Pray that these new believers will discern God’s will for them and make wise choices.
Taken from Maoz News, a periodic report from Israel, with permission.