We join Arab World Media in praying for the city of Safi in Morocco.
Located on the Atlantic coast, Safi is a cultural melting pot of old and new: famous for traditional ceramics as well as an international surfing hotspot. Though it is a bustling city of maritime trade, fishers of men prove few and far between.
Safi is a working-class city. Morocco is the largest exporter of canned sardines in the world, and the main fishing port for sardines. It is also a mass producer of phosphates and textiles. It is described as the ‘city with two hearts.’ Old Safi is home to the potters’ district where artisans craft ceramics of terracotta and clay. There you find the old walled part of the city (medina) with its hundreds of narrow alleyways. New Safi, on the other hand, is where the bustle of business, property developments, and the cathedral lie. Sadly, however, Safi has a reputation in Morocco for high pollution and an uneducated populace.
It has a population of 350,000, with Muslim 99,99%, Christian 0.1%. The ethnic groups are mainly Arab and Berber.
Safi has a reputation for being polluted and dirty, and because its people have limited educational opportunities, they are often looked down upon by other Moroccans. Poor healthcare and a corrupt system of bribery are prevalent. There is a general sense of apathy for religion, but the appearance of being a devout Muslim is important.
The people of Safi already face discrimination from other Moroccans; seekers deviating any further from the norm would make life even harder. There is widespread family and work pressure to conform to Islam. The lack of biblical resources and isolation from the local church make it difficult to pursue Christianity. Those who do convert are often too afraid to meet with other local believers.
During the last twelve months, 1,765 Moroccans contacted Arab World Media. Of those, 40 professed faith. A total of 29 face-to-face requests were made, but only 8 meetings occurred across the country. The fear of being discovered is crippling.
Safi has no established, preexisting local church. There are no formal language-learning schools, which means that studying either French or Arabic is challenging. There are very few educational opportunities for the next generation Christians.
- Safi is a challenging place to share the gospel. There is a resistance to the Good News as it is seen as a ‘westernising’ or ‘foreign’ faith that undermines the local ways of life. It is easier to remain conformed to the Islamic culture. Pray for breakthroughs in people’s hearts and minds.
- Local believers are generally fearful, and it is difficult for our team to have face to face interactions. Pray against fear and for a spirit of peace and boldness.
- For the few interested seekers, there is a lack of discipleship resources. There are logistical challenges in providing Bibles and other Christian literature in the local language. Pray that our innovative media ministry would continue to challenge hearts and that God would facilitate opportunities for much-needed resources to be delivered to the community.
- Pray for peace and stability for members of the Safi team. More long-term members are needed to increase our effectiveness and outreach in this city. Pray for times of refreshing and re-energising from the Lord, and that he would call more people with the right skills to join the team.Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit – Ephesians 2:19-22 (NIV)