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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Sh Br 47: Waiting and Watching

Shiite Muslims – a people God is pursuing to be Jesus’ Bride

The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.” John 4:25-26 NIV

Shiites have been expectantly waiting for Someone for centuries.

In the eighth century a special man among Shiites vanished in Iraq. He is affectionately remembered by Shiites as the Mehdi, and ever since he disappeared, they have been waiting in anticipation for his return. His homecoming is significant because Shiites believe the Mehdi will come back to establish justice on the earth.

Recently over three million Shiite Muslims from around the world traveled to their holy city of Karbala, Iraq to make an annual pilgrimage in honor of the Mehdi. Some Shiites in Iraq even marched up to seven days to join the important ceremonies.

Extremists often target Shiite festivals. Recent festivities in Iraq proved to be no different. Although there were many security measures taken by the Iraqi government, at least 36 Shiites were killed just walking from other parts of Iraq to get to Karbala and at least 6 Shiites headed to Karbala were killed in a car bombing. But possibly the worst attack against the Shiite pilgrims came when two women suicide bombers killed 22 people and wounded at least 73.

Today, friend of His Shiite Bride, pray for Shiites as they make pilgrimages. Ask that they will encounter Jesus and begin to follow him. For millions of Shiites eagerly awaiting the Mehdi’s return, pray that Jesus captivates their hearts and becomes their Only Hope. Pray that Shiites discover the Messiah has come and that His name is Jesus.

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