In unrelated instances on two different continents, Satan and his forces of darkness have incited more attacks on Christ and His church across the globe. Police in South Vietnam issued an order on Nov 13 to close a new house church. The previous day in Algeria, a church was attacked by a group of unidentified assailants.
On November 13, 2013, a policeman ordered the closure of a new house church in southern Vietnam.
The church was born when a believer took a homeless family into his home, and shared the gospel with them. The budding congregation shared prayer and worship in the believer’s home.
A few weeks ago, a member of the homeless family got into a fight with a man in a neighboring village. The local police heard about it, and caused the temporary closure of the church and the impending expulsion of the Christian family. “Please pray for the church in this (undisclosed) area,” said a local source. “There are very few Christians living here.
The previous night, almost 7,000 miles away, a church in the south of Algeria was attacked around 11pm by a group of assailants. The unidentified attackers tried to break down the main gate of the building to gain access to the place of worship. The pastor related that, “On Tuesday, around 23:00 o’clock, a group of people tried to get inside the church. From the outside, the attackers set fire to a tire, and tried to throw the tire inside the building. But this did not work because the fence and barbed wire proved to be too high. They then tried to enter by smashing the church gate to enter the building.”
“Alerted by the black smoke coming from the burning tire, the police immediately moved to the scene. However, the attackers managed to escape without being arrested,” lamented the pastor. He claims that the church was attacked because people do not like to have a church in the city.
“There are people who try to intimidate us to push us out of here. I think it is the growth of our community that disturbs them. Today, we are better organized administratively and spiritually. What we do here disturbs the kingdom of darkness. When God wants to do something good in His church, Satan opposes,” said the pastor, who planned to file a formal complaint with the police.
This church is no stranger to such attacks. In 2010, a group of assailants broke into the interior after destroying the outer gate by force. The attackers tried to steal the crucifix from the roof. And then in November 2012, individuals issued death threats against the pastors of the community, and promised to burn the church in protest over the film “Innocence of Muslims,” considered by many to be anti-Islamic.
To help protect against these attacks and to identify their perpetrators, the EPA (Protestant Church of Algeria) plans to install surveillance cameras around the building of the church.
Father, as Your church advances, the forces of darkness indeed intensify their efforts to thwart the work of Christ’s church. We take courage not in earthly power, but in the victory that has already been won by Christ. We pray for these two churches, that their work would continue despite the opposition. May the small house church in Vietnam be reopened or the work continued in other ways. We call on You to hedge the Algerian church about with Your protection that their work might go forward as well. Thank You for the work of Your Spirit in the midst of both churches. In the name of Jesus who has won the victory, Amen!