Bahrain: a very dangerous flashpoint

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Take out Israel and Iran’s nuclear programme and the Iranians and the US have a lot in common: both want the Taliban to be neutered in Afghanistan; both want a stable Iraq; both want the Gulf kept free for oil exports. But now there is the tiny state of Bahrain, full of angry Shias tired of living under the autocratic rule of an absolute Sunni monarch who favours the minority Sunnis. The Shias, of course, look to Iran for support, the Bahrain Sunni government to Saudi Arabia. Last week the Saudis responded, and sent in extra troops. The crackdown has begun.

The Iranian establishment has so far only responded diplomatically, recalling its diplomats from Bahrain, condemning the Saudi intervention, but while the King of Bahrain has publicly blamed Iran for the protests, Iran has not sent in any military support for the protesters. If they did, the situation would become explosive: the US Fifth Fleet is based in Bahrain.

It is important Christians intercede for peace to prevail, not just for the ordinary people who enjoy a good standard of living compared with the rest of the Arab world, but also for the 9% of the population who are Christian.

Pray for

  • Wisdom for diplomats in Tehran, Riyadh, and Washington
  • This flashpoint to subside
  • Christians in Bahrain to preach Jesus in these stressful times