ARABIC: "What's Going On?" March 2017

Dr. Tony Tadros
Arabic Senior Producer

Life or Death 

The Saudi daily Okaz published a photo (below) of a mock funeral that took place at a high school in Asir province in Saudi Arabia. Students stood at attention while one of their schoolmates, playing the role of the deceased, was wrapped in shrouds and carried in front of them on a bier. The ceremony was apparently meant to put the fear of death in the students’ hearts as part of their religious education. 

Okaz newspaper also published a special investigative article about the preoccupation with death in Saudi schools. The article begins with a story about a student named Mohamed, who, as part of his school education, "was taken to a dark place where a scary voice was heard." His classmates explained to him that this was a common method of preaching meant to "raise students’ religious awareness" and impress upon them that they must always be prepared to face death. Mohamed relates that even today, ten years later, he is still traumatized by this experience and his life is dominated by the fear of death that can come at any moment. The article stresses that Mohamed is one of many who suffer from the effects of such intimidation tactics on the minds of the youth to make them hate life and this world, and seek the shortest route to the next world and to the virgins of Paradise, even if this means leaving their families and carrying out terrorist attacks. 

Now you see why this generation of young people desperately needs, more than ever before, to hear the message of life. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10) We must tell them about God’s life-giving grace: “This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” (2 Tim. 1:9, 10)

In our programs from Madagascar, we tell young people about the good news, and the new life in Christ. “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” (John 5:24)  

We share about the death of Jesus on the cross and his resurrection “… that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” (Heb. 2:14, 15)

Yes, death is inevitable but we don’t have to fear it. God tells us, “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.” (Deut. 30:19)  We pray that all our listeners would make the right choice! Please continue to pray for them!


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