Global missionary and best selling author Brother Andrew, founder of Open Doors International, says Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who died today in Paris, was “someone who needed Jesus, like so many others. “I had the opportunity to meet with Arafat many times and bring the Gospel to him and tell him of Jesus’ love….just like I have done for others in many countries for almost 50 years.”
In his recently released Light Force: A Stirring Account of the Church Caught in the Middle East Crossfire (Revell), co-authored by Al Janssen, Andrew shares about one such meeting with Arafat where he presented a Bible to the PLO leader for his daughter’s first birthday. Embracing a struggling church in the Middle East and boldly approaching such organizations as the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah, he further tells in Light Force that Arafat was always open to accepting Bibles and copies of Andrew’s best-selling autobiography, God’s Smuggler.
“I had visited him many times and given him an Arabic Bible and an Arabic copy of God’s Smuggler,” explains Andrew in a recent interview with ASSIST Ministries. “It was one of Arafat’s favorite books, incidentally. He always asked for more copies. He would tell me, ‘Bring a dozen more, Andrew. I want all my officers to read God’s Smuggler;’ so he was one of the book’s distributors.” Andrew additionally gives credit to Arafat as thousands of Palestinians have now been exposed to the Gospel.
“I never go alone on these trips to the Middle East, but I bring people (Christians) with me,” says Andrew. “I show them that they can approach Muslims; you can speak to fundamentalists and you can give them the Scriptures. We got permission from Arafat to open a Bible shop in Gaza and hundreds of Muslim fundamentalists, especially those from Hamas, because they know me, come to the shop and get Scriptures and JESUS videos.”
Andrew concludes, “The Bible says to pray for those in high places…they have such a huge responsibility. I had been praying for him for many years that he might be saved.”
Light Force: A Stirring Account of the Church Caught in the Middle East Crossfire is available at bookstores everywhere, in addition to such online retailers as Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.
An estimated 200 million Christians worldwide suffer interrogation, arrest and even death for their faith in Christ. Today, Open Doors International is working in more than 60 countries to strengthen the Persecuted Church, sustaining indigenous Christians in hostile lands so they can continue to spread the Gospel to the majority around them. In addition to delivering Bibles and other study materials, Open Doors provides literacy, pastoral and vocational training and advocates on behalf of those who are persecuted for their faith. For more information on Open Doors, visit www.opendoorsusa.org or call 1-888-5-BIBLE-5.