Introduction / History
Without moving, the Alawite religious community moved from Syria to Lebanon and Israel. In fact, their town of Ghajar is split between Israel and Lebanon. It sits in the Golan Heights where it belonged to Syria until the 1967 War when Israel captured the area. When Israel formally annexed Golan, Alawites in Ghajar opted to become Israeli citizens. This made their group the only Alawite community in Israel. Then the UN drew Lebanon's border to cut through the heart of Ghajar. There are over a million Alawites in neighboring Syria, where the Syrian president is part of the Alawite religion. The Alawites in Ghajar find economic benefits by identifying with Israel, so they practice their unique version of Islam in a land ruled by Jews.
Alawites borrow beliefs from other religious groups, and worship a relative of Islam's prophet, Mohammed. Alawism says that all people were once stars in the world of light, but they fell due to disobedience. Individuals must be reincarnated seven times before they once again return to being stars. They see themselves as a persecuted minority, God's chosen people, the only ones who have seen the light. They think that if people are sinful, they will be reborn as Christians.
* Pray that tentmaker missionaries will contact this isolated group.
* Ask the Light of the World to reveal Himself to the Alawite leaders of Ghajar.
|Profile Source: Global Prayer Digest / Keith Carey|