Algeria (MNN) — Persecution can lead to purification in Christian teaching. In Algeria, pastors used to teach believers that “this building is your church,” says Youssef*, a Protestant Christian leader who partners with Operation Mobilization USA.
“A lot of the leaders focused on [growing] their own kingdom” with big and beautiful church buildings, he continues. As a result, the average Christian in Algeria understood that “the building has something to do with their faith.”
The government has closed Protestant churches nationwide in recent years, forcing believers underground. Initially, fear filled the hearts of most Algerian Christians. Many wondered how they could worship without a church building.
“Overcoming fear [has been] very, very important. When the churches closed, they (Christians) were lost [and] didn’t know what to do,” Youssef says.
Today, “we are trying to encourage [believers to meet in] house churches and cell groups.”
Believers rely on God for the strength and will to press on, and His mercies are new every morning.
“Where we are facing this persecution, there is an incredible movement of prayer and fasting. We’re not giving in; we must persevere by faith,” Youssef says.
“We were not prepared for this persecution, honestly. But God is in control.”
Yousseff and his wife Hee-Tee train Christian leaders and disciple-makers in Algeria with help from OM. You can support their efforts here.
“We want to pray for the best ones to be recruited for training and then for sending off. We hope we can send out 15 missionaries this year,” Hee-Tee says.
“Please pray that the Lord would bring quality people to us. We are very keen to train them [to] go [to] Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria [and] the ends of the earth.”
*Name withheld for security purposes.
Header image courtesy of Operation Mobilization USA.