Algeria (MNN) ― Algeria is earning its keep as country number 23 on the Open Doors World Watch List for the worst persecutors of Christians.
An Algerian Christian was sentenced to five years in prison for "shaking the faith" of Muslims last May. Currently, "Kadar" is awaiting a decision on his appeal.
Kadar, who regularly shares his faith with Muslims in the city of Oran, was discussing his belief in Christ with a man at an outdoor food court last May when the man became angry and accused Kadar of insulting Muhammad. Police arrested Kadar and found a large amount of Christian materials in his apartment.
After Kadar was convicted, the judge gave him the maximum sentence of five years in prison even though the prosecutor had recommended a lesser sentence. Kadar is now out on bail awaiting the decision.
Another case has been much more hopeful. An Algerian evangelist, "Azad," had been a believer for several years when his father chased him out of his family home. Azad's in-laws even threatened to take away his wife if he continued to evangelize. A few months later, Azad was fired from work.
In the midst of the battle, Azad told a VOM worker, "I am so discouraged, and I feel hatred against God." He stopped reading his Bible or going to church.
Recently, though, Azad asked a Christian friend for something to read. The Christian gave him "Tortured for Christ," a book written by VOM's founder about his experiences in prison. The book had a profound effect on Azad, and he decided to accept his plight and recommit to the Lord.
Life is not easy for believers in Algeria. Pray that the Lord will give believers undergoing persecution peace and strength, and even more opportunities to share the Gospel. Ask that the Church will continue to grow in Algeria.