MERF's work in the Middle East is its primary region of ministry. The Middle East is a region that spans southwestern Asia, southeastern Europe, and northeastern Africa. It has no clear boundaries, often used as a synonym to Near East, in opposition to Far East. The history of the Middle East dates back to ancient times, and throughout its history the Middle East has been a major centre of world affairs. In modern times the Middle East remains a strategically, economically, politically, culturally and religiously sensitive region. Explore the various countries in which MERF is reaching out with the gospel of Jesus Christ in both word and deed.

Jordan

Jordan is apart of the Arab Kingdoms Jordan, officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, is an Arab country in Southwest Asia spanning the southern part of the Syrian Desert down to the Gulf of Aqaba. It shares borders with Syria to the north, Iraq to the north-east, Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories to the west, and Saudi Arabia to the east and south. It shares control of the Dead Sea with Israel, and the coastline of the Gulf of Aqaba with Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. Much of Jordan is covered by desert, particularly the Arabian Desert; however the north-western area, with the sacred Jordan River, is regarded as part of the Fertile Crescent. The capital city of Amman is in the north-west.

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Syria

Syria, officially the Syrian Arab Republic, is an Arab country in Southwest Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Israel to the southwest, Jordan to the south, Iraq to the east, and Turkey to the north. The modern state of Syria was formerly a French mandate and attained independence in 1946, but can trace its roots to the Eblan civilization in the third millennium BC. Its capital city, Damascus, was the seat of the Umayyad Empire and a provincial capital of the Mamluk Empire. Syria gained independence in April 1946. Officially a Republic, Syria has been under Emergency Law since 1963 and governed by the Baath Party; the head of state since 1970 has been a member of the Assad family. Syria's current president is Bashar al-Assad, son of Hafez al-Assad, who held office from 1970 until his death in 2000. The population of 22 million is mainly Muslim, of various schools and branches, but with a significant Christian minority.

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Iraq

Iraq, officially the Republic of Iraq, is a country in the Middle East spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert. Iraq shares borders with Jordan to the west, Syria to the northwest, Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, and Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to the south. Iraq has a narrow section of coastline on the northern Persian Gulf. The capital city, Baghdad, is in the center-west of the country. Two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run through the centre of Iraq, flowing from north to south. These provide Iraq with agriculturally capable land and contrast with the steppe and desert landscape that covers most of Western Asia. Beginning with the invasion in 2003 that ousted Saddam Hussein, a multinational coalition of forces, mainly American and British, occupied Iraq. The occupation ended when sovereignty was transferred to the Iraqi Interim Government June 2004. A new Constitution of Iraq has since been approved by referendum and a new Government of Iraq has been elected.

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Iran

Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. The 18th largest country in the world in terms of area at 1,648,195 km², Iran has a population of over seventy million. It is bordered on the north by Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, on the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, on the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, on the west by Iraq, and on the northwest by Turkey. Tehran is the capital, the country's largest city and the political, cultural, commercial, and industrial center of the nation. Iran is a regional power, and holds an important position in international energy security and world economy as a result of its large reserves of petroleum and natural gas. The political system of Iran, based on the 1979 Constitution, comprises several intricately connected governing bodies. The highest state authority is the Supreme Leader. Shia Islam is the official religion and Persian is the official language.

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Gulf States

The Arab Gulf States, including Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the sultanate of Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates all share a similar culture and economic structure. All of the Arab states of the Persian Gulf have significant revenues from oil and gas and, with the exception of Saudi Arabia, have small local populations. The Persian Gulf Arab states share a regional culture that is sometimes referred to as "khaleeji (gulf) culture". They all speak the Gulf Arabic and share similar music styles, cuisine, and dress. All six states are also hereditary monarchies. Together, the area is home to about 42 million people.

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  1. Egypt
  2. Lebanon

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