Wherever you go in the Middle East, Asia, Eastern Mediterranean and other parts of the world, you will find the symbol of the ‘evil eye’ on walls, jewellery, pottery and other household items. A couple of days ago we even saw it printed on a baby’s dummy.
Normally cobalt blue and white in colour, the ‘evil eye’ symbol is believed to be apotropaic, which means to ward off evil, and is often worn as an amulet.
Evil in the form of a curse is thought to be rooted in jealousy or envy and transmitted through the malevolent stare or ‘evil eye’ of another person.
The distinctive evil eye symbol is thought to give protection by attracting the gaze of a person of malevolent intent, thus distracting them from doing harm.
This belief goes back millennia and is prevalent today. In a tiny, ancient fishing village near Maronia, we came across a dramatic example of the evil eye motif painted on an enormous rock on the edge of the harbour. Presumably the motif was to protect fishermen from the ‘evil eye.’
For many people here, superstition and fear are real strongholds, regardless of their religious and cultural background.
We found ourselves imagining what it must be like to have to be constantly vigilant against perceived sources of evil, and longing to see people in this region set free to know and experience the peace and protection of Christ who liberates us from such fear.