Reaching the world’s trouble spots with the hope of Jesus has never been an easy task.
But through the power of the Internet, and with the help of online advertising, social media and customized pages that address people’s concerns, spreading the Gospel to war-torn places like the Middle East is not necessarily a life-threatening proposition.
“One of the most interesting facts to me about the Internet,” said Billy Graham in a My Answer column, “is that it now reaches some of the most remote corners of the world, including countries that are otherwise closed to the preaching of the Gospel.”
Since January of 2014, more than 170,000 people from 18 Middle East countries have indicated a decision for Christ through BGEA’s Search for Jesus Internet evangelism ministry.
In the month of October alone, more than 45,000 people in Iraq visited PeaceWithGod.net, a site that clearly presents the Good News of Jesus. More than 34,000 in Syria and 33,000 in Saudi Arabia have also visited the site, experiencing the true Gospel message.
Also featured on PeacewithGod.net is a chat function where people around the world can ask any spiritual question that’s on their hearts to trained counselors who are at the ready nearly all hours of the day.
“We’re in a great position for people who are searching for answers,” said John Cass, director of the BGEA’s Internet evangelism ministry. “The idea that they’re coming to a website to ask questions and interacting with someone is unique.”
The safety of using computers and smartphones to ask spiritual questions—over face-to-face interaction—may be one of the reasons for heightened traffic on PeacewithGod.net during times of conflict.
Regardless, people searching in some Middle East countries are finding the Gospel like never before.
“The reality is we’re seeing an uptick in traffic from Middle Eastern countries,” Cass said.
In Iraq, more than 26,000 have made decisions for Christ so far this year, up 17 percent over all of 2013. And in Syria, nearly three times as many decisions for Jesus have been indicated (29,000-plus) over 2013.
Early this morning, PeaceWithGod.net recorded its 5 millionth decision for Christ and it very well may come from somewhere in the Middle East or another troubled area of the world. Pakistan, Egypt, Uzbekistan and Yemen are other countries over the past few years that have actively been searching for answers online and finding the peace and hope only found through Christ.
Franklin Graham, in a recent prayer letter, expressed excitement about “reaching the lost in closed countries in the Middle East through the Internet, as they search for answers to questions like ‘What happens after I die?’ or ‘Who is Jesus?’”
Watch real-time decisions around the globe now.