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Praying for the Persecuted Church in Len...

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Praying for the Persecuted Church in Lent - Algeria

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Praying for the Persecuted Church in Lent - Algeria

Project(s): 02-036, 02-367, 02-570

Country/Region: Algeria

By 200 AD there were many well-established churches in the region that is today’s Algeria. Yet after the invasion of Arab Muslims in 670 AD, Christianity began to decline. A further influx of Arabs in the 11th century tipped the balance decisively in favour of Islam, and it is held that by 1160 the Church in Algeria was extinct. Despite the endeavours of many missionaries over the following centuries very few Algerians responded to the Gospel. It was not until the 1970s that the Church began to grow significantly.

Algeria-2
A Christian church in Algeria meets for worship
The young Algerian Church, made up mainly of converts from Islam and their children, had to operate underground throughout the civil war period (1992-2000). But during this time many Algerian Muslims turned to Christ. Many of the new Christians were not Arabs but Berbers, amongst whom the Lord worked in a most remarkable way.

Since independence in 1962 Algeria has been a secular state, with 99% of its population being Sunni Muslim. After six years (2000-2006) of relative religious freedom, radical Islamists are again pushing for more restrictions, especially on Christian mission. New regulations were passed in 2006 imposing fines and imprisonment on anyone who “seduces” a Muslim to convert to another religion or possesses materials likely to “shake the faith of a Muslim”.

The right to assemble for worship or outreach is also severely limited, and several well-established churches were briefly closed in 2008. The importing of Christian literature has been made more difficult, and Christians working for the government are less likely than Muslims to gain promotion. However, many courageous Christian leaders have boldly resisted the new regulations, including the closure of churches. In the face of this, it seems that the Algerian authorities may have decided not to enforce the new law in a rigorous way.

Barnabas Aid projects in Algeria include:

Training Christians for ministry (Ref. 02-036)
Provision of church buildings (Ref. 02-367)
Support for pastors (Ref. 02-570)
Please Pray:
There is increasing violence in some areas of Algeria, and Christians are enduring more threats and attacks from their Muslim neighbours. Pray that they may respond with love and forgiveness to their persecutors. Give thanks for new converts and pray that the churches in Algeria will continue to thrive, growing in numbers and maturity despite increased limitations. Praise God for the courage of church leaders in resisting the new restrictions, and that the authorities do not now seem to be enforcing them very rigorously. Pray that the government will resist further pressure from Islamists to restrict the freedoms of Christians.
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christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

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