Christians are facing pressure across the Middle East and North Africa. Here are five quick areas that you can be praying for this week…
Several churches in Algeria have been closed in the past year. Pastor Muslih says:
“Sometimes because they said the buildings weren’t in line with the law. We organized ourselves to meet in houses. There we had our prayer meetings, our discipleship training. The authorities are intimidating churches, officials of the intelligence services have more frequently visited church services. That is very disturbing, it feels they’re interrupting our intimacy”.
Despite this, the church in Algeria is growing. And that means pastors are under more pressure from the authroties.
Pastor Muslih* explains:
“I heard of a pastor whose passport was taken by the police for many weeks. I know many examples of harassing Christian leaders and their family. Several leaders have been interrogated by the police for several hours in a row.. The incidents are happening again and again with shorter intervals. I believe this is all meant to frustrate my work and the work of other pastors. But they had no success: we are still here; we will stay here till our death.”
Many Muslims in the Middle East and North Africa have questions about their faith. Like Tunisian Issam*:
“I was born in a committed Muslim family. From the age of 7 on I visited the mosque. Between prayer times an elderly man trained us how to grow in faith. When I grew up, I started to ask more in-depth questions. His answer many times was: ‘You’re not mature enough to understand’. But that made me question: If God is sending me a message in the Koran that I can’t understand, why is He sending it?”
Despite the war and unrest in Syira, the church is growing. This is especially true among Druze and Kurdish Syrians – hundreds of people have come to know Jesus in the past years.
Often Christians need to flee from home because they become followers of Jesus. Sometimes their families push them out, others decide to run away because of the pressure on them or the violence used against them. Aizah* knows the cost of choosing Jesus:
“I walked away with only the things that fit in my backpack. I could stay for some weeks with another believer and after that two years with the family who led me to Jesus. It took ten years before I could talk with my father again… The good thing is that God walked all this time with me. I didn’t get a hardened heart. God helped me to not miss my father too much. God provided these moments that I saw my father walking in the streets when I was missing him more. God also made it possible to continue to talk with my mother, although my father had forbidden her to contact me.”
Get our new Guts and Courage resource to learn more about the places in the world where Christians face pressure, violence and intimidation for their faith and get inspired to live out your walk with God with more boldness…
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.