Date: July 25, 2013
Tunisians demonstrate for peace, freedom of speech, and a secular state. (Image, caption courtesy Ezequiel Scagnetti via European Parliament on Flickr)
Tunisia (MNN) ― The Arab Spring began in Tunisia over two years ago. Now, Tunisians might write history again and spark another wave of reform.
"[There are] wonderful, good-hearted Tunisians that are tired, that are sick of hardline Islam that seeks to take over; that's a part of what this whole revolution was about," says Pat Flannigan of I Am Second.
In its current form, Tunisia's constitution is the first in the Arab world to leave Islamic law out of the picture. It's also the first ruling document written by elected officials.
"Only time will tell if this is going to work or not; I think it's a good step, though," Flannigan states.
While these first signs of democracy are encouraging, the challenge remains: will Tunisia be able to push back Islamists wanting Sharia law?
"And, will they be able to do it with an established government when the Islamists are not a part of it?" asks Flannigan.
"If [Islamists are] outside of the government…then they're going to be in the role of agitators," he explains. "They're going to try and get attention."
Flannigan says terrorists usually accomplish this "through blowing up mosques, killing people, suicide bombers, all of that."
"The people get tired of that over time, so they think, 'Well, maybe [Islamists] should have some kind of voice in the governmen,'" he says. "Once they get included, then they think to take it over again."
Although Tunisia is still in the process of writing a new chapter in their history, ripples of reform may already be starting.
"It is interesting to see this interim government in Egypt [is also] wanting to keep the Islamists out, and actually wanting to have some Christian presence in it," Flannigan notes.
Literally surrounded by "enemies," Israel sits amid neighbors full of anti-Christian sentiment: Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iran, and Egypt. Could a new wave of reform mean new hope for Israel?
"It seems like no matter what happens in that region, it eventually turns sour for Israel and sour for the Church," says Flannigan.
"That's who the enemy goes after: he goes after the nation of Israel and he goes after the Body of Christ."
Tunisia's transition comes during Ramadan, a time when your prayers are especially needed.
"Everything that's happening in the spiritual world is causing them to pull more into Islam, more into a literal reading of the Qur'an and more of a jihadist mentality against Christians," Flannigan says.
"Pray for believers that are in Muslim countries that are definitely under pressure. We're seeing that in Egypt, Jordan, Syria; every day, we're hearing reports."
"Many [Muslims] are having dreams and visions about Jesus during Ramadan," Flannigan states. "It's a time for the Body of Christ to really concentrate their prayer efforts on believers in Muslim countries and [pray for] Muslims to come to faith in Christ."