Two Muslim Background Believers (MBB’s) have been forced to flee their hometown following threats from family. At the beginning of the year, Open Doors’ World Watch List warned that as Islam became more visible in Algeria’s government, Christians would face greater restrictions on their freedom. The oppression of Christians continues, especially for Muslim-background believers who are often forced to make difficult decisions due to pressure from their families.
These two Muslim-background believers, Labib* and Hamim*, know that fear firsthand. Labib recently became a Christian. His family, with whom he still lived, became furious and persistently pressured him to recant his faith in Jesus. He recently expressed a desire to live elsewhere. His brothers then threatened to burn his shop. They also threatened Hamim, the man who shared the gospel with him. This man decided to sell his business and now lives in another city.
On Oct 1, World Watch Monitor reported the assassination of French tourist Hervé Gourdel, who was beheaded on Sept 24 in the northeastern region of Kabylie by a radical Islamist group, “Soldiers of the Caliphate,” linked to the Islamic State in Iraq. Following his death, a local Christian reportedly expressed concern that the church could become a target for terrorists who have shown “their desire to establish an Islamic theocratic regime everywhere they stamp their feet, to the cost of other beliefs. “Frankly,” he said, “I am worried. Christians should be mobilized in prayer against this approaching darkness.”
*These names have been changed for security purposes.
Father, we lift up Algerian Christians who are facing increased persecution from family members and the Islamic State. We pray for protection and courage. We pray that they will have fellowship with other Christians to encourage and strengthen one another in the faith and to share their knowledge of God’s Word. We pray against the rising influence of the Islamic State in Algeria and all parts of the world. Father, they would use fear and military power to thwart the work of Your church, but we thank You for the confidence that Christ has won the victory and will prevail even over their evil power. But now, in the midst of suffering, we pray that You will comfort Your church and strengthen them to stand strong in their faith. In the name of Jesus, who has promised never to leave us or forsake us, Amen.