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Tunisia Facts

Score:64/ 100
Region:Africa
Persecution Type:Islamic oppression
Persecution Level:Very High
Population:11,783,000
Christians:23,300
Main Religion:Islam
Government:Parliamentary republic
Leader:President Kais Saied

Profile of Persecution

Violence 32%
Church Life 74%
National Life 65%
Community Life 62%
Family Life 77%
Private Life 72%

Forced to hide their faith

Tunisian believers all come from Muslim backgrounds. For Christians in North African country, persecution comes in various forms, including targeted discrimination that is often hidden from public view yet affects believers’ daily lives. Many Christians experience job insecurity, family abandonment, and verbal, mental and physical abuse—making it dangerous to share their faith with family members, neighbors, friends or colleagues. As a result, most converts to Christianity choose to hide their faith and cannot openly worship and live their lives as Christians.

How Christians are suffering

Converts from Islam to Christianity have most to fear from their own family members and society. This is especially true in Tunisia’s southern region, where violent radical Islamic groups are particularly active. These groups will target any Christian, whether foreign of national, if the opportunity arises.

Christian converts, especially women, are not likely to be treated equally in court, especially in an issue involving family law. They are also vulnerable to abuse, because their families can, in some cases, act against them with impunity, especially in rural areas. Women who convert from Islam suffer unprotected in North Africa. In the Muslim culture, a woman born into a Muslim family who becomes a follower of Jesus is thought to bring shame on her whole family because she isn’t following the path of her ancestors. There are cases of converts being locked up in their houses by their own families.

Examples

Church facilities and buildings are monitored, under the guise of security reasons but also for the purpose of the government’s surveillance.

During the reporting period, some foreign Christians were detained and interrogated for possessing Christian literature. They were accused of proselytization.

Several Christians, especially female converts, had to relocate inside the country due to pressure and threats from their families. Reportedly, several Christian converts were physically and/or sexually abused.

Population and number of Christian statistics: Johnson T M and Zurlo G A, eds., World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill, accessed April 2019).

 

Pray for Tunisia

  • Christians face discrimination and targeting that is often obscure and hidden to the public eye and affects their day-to-day lives. Because of their Christian identities, many experience job insecurities, abandonment from family, friends and even fiancés; they are victims of verbal, mental and physical abuse. Pray they experience God’s love when they are rejected by man.
  • It is difficult for Christians to gather for worship and fellowship due to risk of exposure. Pray believers would have the courage to meet together and pursue Christian fellowship.
  • Christians experience persecution in their neighborhoods. Neighbors, for instance, will exclude converts from social gatherings and are likely to cause converts to lose their jobs. Pray that God will provide for these believers.
  • Violent radical Islamic groups are active in the border areas to the south. They will target any Christian, whether foreign of national, if the opportunity arises. Pray for the safety of these believers.

Stories from Tunisia

March 6, 2020

A ‘living death’: How Christian women experience persecution

A new 2020 Open Doors in-depth report focusing on gendered persecution surfaces some disturbing realities for Christian women and girls in the top 50 countries where women are highly persecuted for their decision to follow Jesus. Read More

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January 22, 2020

Facial recognition technology ushers in new wave of Christian persecution

A new wave of Christian persecution led by facial recognition technology is one of four major trends impacting believers today. Read More

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January 15, 2020

Every day, 8 Christians killed for their decision to follow Jesus

In-depth research for Open Doors' 2020 World Watch List shows that at least eight Christians, largely in Sub-Saharan Africa, die at the hands of persecutors (extremists, family members and state authorities) each day. Read More

+ READ MORE

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