Recent months have seen the serious escalation of the Algerian authorities’ campaign against the Protestant church. Several further Christians have been prosecuted and have received prison sentences connected with the peaceful practice of their faith. Several more churches have been closed, while others are in line to be closed. Please pray the authorities will respect the right to freedom of religion, charges against Christians will be dropped and convictions overturned, and churches that are closed will be permitted to reopen. Please pray the Body of Christ will flourish in Algeria and God’s love will be known across the land.
The largest unreached, unengaged, people groups of North Africa are in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. This is an area of great need. Pray that God would provide workers willing to go there and make a way for these people groups to learn about the love of God. Holy Spirit, we call on you for breakthrough today in this area. Amen.
The Shawiya Berber are found in six countries: Algeria, Morocco, France, Germany, Italy and Belgium. They mainly live in Algeria and their primary religion is Islam. Pray for Christians in the European countries listed to seek to reach these people, as it is difficult to do so in other nations. Pray also that the Holy Spirit will work in many hearts to reveal who Christ is and that, wherever they are, the Shawiya Berber will hear the gospel and respond in faith.
Please pray that the 20 churches that have either been forcibly closed and sealed or ordered to close in Algeria since the beginning of 2018 will soon be permitted to open again for worship. Please pray that the provisions concerning freedom of worship and religion as feature in Algeria’s new constitution, following a recent referendum, will be adhered to and protected by the authorities. Please pray that our brothers and sisters in Algeria are encouraged and find great mirth and comfort through God’s love and that the faith shall thrive in Algeria.
The church has been growing significantly in Algeria since the 1990’s. It has faced cycles of government led persecution stemming from an Ordinance enacted in 2006. The latest cycle commenced in late 2017. Numerous churches across Algeria affiliated with the Église Protestante d’Algérie, the legally recognised umbrella organisation of Protestant churches, have been closed. Please pray for the church to stand strong and grow closer to God under this persecution. Please pray for the government to cease church closures and to permit churches that have been closed to reopen and function. Please pray for the church to bear witness across society to God’s love and the Good News of Jesus Christ.
No one, nor any situation, can stop the advancement of the kingdom of God. Despite the persecution faced from terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso and the condemnations in Algeria, many people are turning to our Lord Jesus Christ and being baptised. And when the light comes, the darkness has to leave. Therefore, beloved, do not be afraid or discouraged. The Lord our God is with us and not one of his sheep will be lost. Pray for those persecuted for their Christian faith.
Authorities continue to harass the Christian community in Algeria. In the past year, four churches have been sealed by authorities; their congregations refused permission to worship. In this Muslim majority nation, churches must be government-registered. The government has refused to renew the registration of the Église Protestant d’Algérie (EPA - the association for Protestant churches in Algeria), making many existing churches illegal. Most EPA-affiliated churches have been visited by “building-safety committees,” which inspect buildings’ suitability to host meetings but also ask about licenses required under an ordinance regulating non-Muslim worship. However, the government has yet to issue any licence for a church building under this ordinance. Please pray that the authorities will end their systematic campaign to close churches and limit Christians’ freedom to worship.
"Women who convert to Jesus Christ face new challenges, which sometimes cost them dearly," says Djamila, a Christian woman in Algeria. Converted more than twenty years ago, Djamila lived her early years after her conversion to Jesus under pressure from her Muslim parents. She only found full freedom to live out her beliefs once married to a man who shares the same faith. She currently serves alongside him in a local church in Northern Algeria. Parents can force their Christian daughter to marry a Muslim, something that is contrary to the Word of God. When married, she suddenly finds herself in a situation of conflict and incompatibility, which sometimes ends in a divorce. The church offers a positive environment to women, providing opportunities for them to serve. Please pray, as women who leave Islam for Christianity are often divorced by their husbands; ask for God's provision and healing.
Using the power of media, believers from Muslim backgrounds are effectively sharing Christ across the Arab world. Today, more than 125 million individuals use the internet in the Arab world providing a platform for both men and women, with otherwise limited access to Christian resources, to study God’s Word. As a result, our media follow-up network encourages seekers to explore the gospel online and mentors believers through interactive Bible courses.
Many seekers in the Arab world are hungry for the truth of Christ but are held back by fear. The potential backlash from their family and society can keep them from taking concrete steps of faith. However, a combination of media outreach and face-to-face contact has helped to provide a safe place for those exploring the call of Christ. Hamdi’s* desire for fellowship and knowledge won over his fear, and he filled in the contact form on our Arabic ministry website. An Arab Christian volunteer - who used to be a Muslim himself - was given the responsibility to meet up with Hamdi. He had never met anyone with so much hunger to know everything about walking with Christ. He was so encouraged and began meeting regularly to study the Bible together. *Name changed
In schools in Algeria, children as young as 4 or 5 years old are taught the Qur’an with the aim of learning it by heart. On the other hand, children’s Bibles and other Christian literature can be confiscated. Pray for courage for Christian parents and ask God to move in power in this overwhelmingly Muslim nation so that the government will grant freedom to worship.
Population: 40,400,000 (2016)
Official languages: Arabic
GDP (PPP) per capita: $15,281 (2017 est.)
Life expectancy: 73 years
Religions: 95% Muslim, 4% Atheist or Agnostic, 1% Protestant