Niger and Azerbaijan Connect with Israel

ICEJ Worldwide

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25 Apr 2017
Niger and Azerbaijan Connect with Israel

At the beginning of February Dr. Jürgen Bühler, the ICEJ President, and Rev. Juha Ketola, ICEJ Vice President – International Affairs, along with Israeli former Minister and Knesset member Moody Sandberg, now the Chairman of Keren Hayesod, paid a visit to Niamey, the capital of Niger. The ground work for the visit was done by the ICEJ West-Africa Representative Dr. Abdou Maiga, who together with the ICEJ Niger National Director Pastor Moctar Soumana hosted the visitors from Israel. The delegation was warmly received by high-ranking officials in the country and visited some of the governmental offices in the Niger capital.

The ICEJ has had a branch in Niger for a few years, and though officially the Christian minority is said to be less than 10% of the population, the churches are seeing an increase in numbers and the representation continues to grow. Nevertheless, this mostly Muslim nation, enclosed by the Saharan desert, is one of thepoorest countries in the world. One third of babies born in Niger are malnourished and half of the nation’s children under the age of 14 are forced into labor. About 80% of the country is illiterate.

When the Israeli delegation met with the head Imam of the Islamic Community in Niger, Sheikh Omar Ismael, he described his country as “a sick man.” This provided Dr. Bühler an opportunity to share his testimony of healing through the power of Jesus, and the ICEJ President assured the leaders in Niger that, as Christians, we will pray for their nation.

The ICEJ strongly believes as a ministry we can help improve the social and economic well-being of the Niger people in the future, and thus a visit like this is of great importance. We invite Christians around the world to pray with us for the people of Niger – may we become witnesses of their healing as a nation!

 

Azerbaijan Blesses Israel

By Serguei Popov

Located in the South Caucasus region, at the crossroads of Southwest Asia and Southeastern Europe, Azerbaijan is historically a Muslim country. Bordering Iran, Russia, Georgia and Armenia, this former soviet country has been involved in many conflicts and to this day reaps the fruit of an extended war with Armenia. The Republic of Azerbaijan has the second highest population percentage-wise of Shia Muslims in the world. For that reason, there is a special relationship between Azerbaijan and Iran, where citizens of Azerbaijan can freely travel to Iran without a visa. The small Jewish population, currently estimated between 10 to 20 thousand, has a long history in the land, reaching as far back as 2,500 years.

The leadership of the ICEJ took a bold step to enlarge itsinfluence in the region and recently appointed an official representation in the Republic of Azerbaijan.On Sunday, the 5th of February, the Full Gospel Pentecostal Church in the country opened its doors for us, and expressed a sincere desire to form a lasting relationship with the ICEJ, in order to bless Israel. The president of the Bible Society of Azerbaijan, Rev. Rasim Khalilov and another spiritual leader in the country, Rev. Aleksander Neretin, agreed to make the ICEJ representation in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, go public this spring.

We ask you to pray with us for Azerbaijan today! Lift your prayers for God to open all the right doors in this country, and wisdom for ICEJ to operate effectively in this unique environment at this time in history.

 

 

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