The peril in which Israel has been placed by Russia’s new Middle Eastern alliances was highlighted at a London conference held in the shadow of the UK Parliament.
In the run-up to the fifth anniversary of the outbreak of the so-called Arab Spring, it was noted that Russia’s new link with Iran, Iraq and Syria – sworn enemies of the Jewish state – was hardly a recipe for stability even if the intention was to deal effectively with the Islamic State terrorists.
Various leaders were addressing a gathering of Christian intercessors, linked with a campaign known as Together for the Nation, called to meet for urgent prayer (in light of the current grave crises facing the UK and the world) at the Emmanuel Centre in Marsham Street, Westminster.
Dr Clifford Hill, an eminent sociologist and author, repeated a statement made some years ago by a friend of his, the late Lance Lambert, that when the Shi’ite and Sunni streams of Islam have settled their differences, they would turn their attention to Israel.
And British evangelist David Hathaway pointed out that in giving military backing to Syria and their allies, Vladimir Putin was supporting the bitter enemies of Israel – “currying favour with the very people who will launch the attack on Jerusalem,” referring to a biblical prophecy of an Armageddon-style battle in the region (Ezekiel 38).
He warned against Britain backing the wrong side – i.e. Putin – adding that getting rid of Saddam Hussein and Colonel Gadaffi had been big mistakes that had “unleashed the tiger” of Islamic fundamentalism.
Dr Hill also tackled the migrant crisis currently affecting Europe which he believed could be the greatest opportunity ever for reaching Muslims with the gospel. He cited the case of Indonesia – the world’s largest Islamic country – where millions had turned to Christ as a result of a government-sponsored migration programme in which people had been moved out of crowded cities onto islands populated by Christians. The warm welcome they received sparked a new-found faith, which has since spread like wildfire.
In a similar way God could even bring good out of the evil of ISIS as ordinary Muslims are appalled by “behaviour which is on the model of Mohammed himself, who forced conversions and slaughtered Jews and Christians.”
“But is the church ready for a great harvest?” he asked.
A Congregational minister, Dr Hill is seriously concerned about growing secularisation in Britain, reflected in a catalogue of laws ‘freeing’ us from the constraints of biblical morality.
Later in the day, he made a public confession for having neither said, nor done, anything at the time the 1967 Abortion Act was passed. “I was leading a congregation of one thousand in Tottenham, north London. I was too busy running church to see the bigger picture of what was happening in our nation.”