Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Greatest Missions Opportunity in the US?

The greatest missions opportunity in the US right now is perhaps the limited window Christians have to engage Saudi students with the gospel in our universities. Saudi students are the fastest growing international student population in the US. Last year alone, 66,000 Saudis studied in the US. Christians need to quickly respond to this opportunity to welcome and show Christ's love to people who are from a country that is rated #3 in the world in its oppression of Christians. See

A recent Wall Street Journal article, titled "Saudi Students Flood in as U.S. Reopens Door," by Ellen Knickmeyer, highlights the trend of Saudis in America. Here is an excerpt,

"In the years following the security crackdown on Arab travelers after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks—in which 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi Arabian—tough restrictions kept most Arab students away from the U.S. In 2004, only about 1,000 Saudis were studying in the U.S., according to the U.S. State Department.

This past school year, Saudi Arabia sent 66,000 students to U.S. universities, four times the number before the 2001 attacks and the fastest-growing source of foreign students in the U.S., ahead of China, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. The Saudi influx is part of a broader increase in international students in the U.S. as American universities seek to raise tuition revenues. Some 723,277 foreign students enrolled during the 2010-2011 school year, up 32% from a decade ago. 


Saudi Arabia's international scholarship program, launched when Saudi King Abdullah took the throne in 2005, is a key part of his efforts to equip future generations in handling the country's main challenges, including a fast-growing population and declining oil reserves. 

Since taking over, the Saudi king has emphasized scientific education and exposure to foreign countries as keys to combat religious extremism and transform Saudi Arabia into a modern state. This year, the scholarship program has about 130,000 young people studying around the world, at an estimated cost of at least $5 billion since the program began." 

The full article can be viewed at