Plentiful Harvest

Presbyterians’ commitment to education is bearing fruit in rising aspirations for freedom across the Middle East

by Victor E. Makari
from Presbyterians Today

Images of demonstrators in Cairo’s Tahrir Square in early 2011 signaled a new awakening in the Middle East. People watching around the world saw men and women who were confident, articulate and eager to determine their own future.

The longings of people throughout the Middle East for freedom and self-determination are exactly the kinds of aspirations nurtured in the region at schools founded by American Protestant missionaries. Since the 19th century, educational institutions established by pioneering Presbyterians and their Congregational and Reformed cousins have spread Christian values and equipped national leaders in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, Iran and other Gulf states. The Arab Spring offers one of the most dramatic bits of evidence that the Presbyterian Church’s commitment to education is continuing to bear fruit around the world.

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