Middle East/North Africa (MNN) — The Middle East North Africa region, or MENA, is a hotbed of persecution. “I don’t think we can look at the news and not see the Middle East in it; there are challenges every day,” CEO Jennifer Murff says.

Murff heads up the MENA Leadership Center, a group helping Gospel workers expand their capacity. MLC offers knowledge and networking through online platforms. A recent series focused on religious freedom.

“At the MENA Leadership Center, we help ministries and Christians understand their rights in their country. A Christian’s rights in Turkey look very different from Jordan, which is a bit more moderate. We had participants from Jordan, Kurdistan, Baghdad, Morocco,” Murff says.

“I don’t think we quite understood how relevant this course would be.”

One leader received an unexpected “real life” test during the course. “They were in the middle of a class, and this participant got a knock at the door,” Murff says.

“The authorities [were] there to shut down his church.”

(Graphic courtesy of MENA Leadership Center)

God provided the right people at precisely the right time. “His cohorts and the instructor were there to walk him through what he needs to do so that he can keep his church open,” Muff explains.

The course provided more than knowledge, she continues. It gave him a support network.

“Many of the leaders going through our courses, especially if they come from a Muslim background, do not have the support a Christian-background believer may have,” Murff says.

“[Participants] built such a bond during the course. Even though it was online, they built a sense of family. After the class, they created an online group so they can communicate weekly.”

Learn how you can be part of the process here.

“One way you can get involved is by providing scholarships. Almost 600 participants have come through the center, and we never want money to stop them,” Murff says.

Header image is a stock photo courtesy of Aaron Burden/Unsplash.