Saudi Arabia (MNN) — The small Church in Saudi Arabia needs mature and committed believers to translate Scripture and to lead churches.
“It’s almost like the early Church in the book of Acts,” says Abd Al Fadi about Christianity among certain language groups in Saudi Arabia.
He works with Hijazi Arabic in Western Saudi Arabia, Najdi Arabic in central Saudi Arabia, and the Saudi Gulf dialect in the East. Read more in our series about Unreached people Groups here. And remember to join us for the International Day for the Unreached on May 31.
An ancient manuscript written in Hijazi Arabic. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
Abd Al Fadi outlines two main challenges to sharing the Gospel with these languages clusters. “You need to find the right people to do the translations. Otherwise, if you rely on people who are non-believers, or if you rely on people who are not from the region, you will have some terminological and theological issues you have to deal with. Of course, this could cause a problem.”
These groups have few Christians, and finding mature and committed believers to translate is even more difficult. Abd Al Fadi says, “Sometimes they’re busy with a job, or concerned about being caught by their family or the government.”
Even if the translators complete their work, that doesn’t mean it can be distributed easily. “It’s one thing to produce the product. It’s another to deliver it to the right church or group that can benefit from it.”
Abd Al Fadi says some successes in this ministry come directly, and some indirectly. He met one man in person, who leads a church for people in one of the language groups. “This person is definitely one of those that qualifies to be a leader. And that’s exciting. [I hope] he will get trained to become a leader and he himself will disciple others.”
Saudi Arabia forbids non-Muslims from entering the cities of Mecca and Medina, and considers all citizens Muslim. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
He also ministers through YouTube, through which he meets and interacts with many people. For the PrayerCast video about these languages in Saudi Arabia, click here.
“Those are success stories,” Abd Al Fadi says, “in terms of the fact that there are still people out there that can work with you. [They are] bold enough to do it. But just finding them usually is the challenge.”
How to pray
Abd Al Fadi asks Christians in the West to pray that Christians in Saudi Arabia will join together in house churches, and that the right materials will get to the right people. “Pray for these products that we’ll be working on, which [includes] translated stories from the Scripture, parables, psalms, prayers, things like that.”
Most of all, pray that like the early Church in Acts, the Church in Saudi Arabia would grow and multiply. Abd Al Fadi says he hopes within the next decade, “We will hear about many Saudi believers who are out in the open, doing media or doing ministry, and partnering with others as well.”
Sunset over the Rub’ al Khali in Saudi Arabia. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)