Algeria (MNN) — Over the years, Christianity in Algeria has spread slowly. It’s seen more persecution from Islamic extremists like al-Qaeda in the last few years but has successfully stayed afloat.
According to the Algeria 2013 International Religious Freedom Report, about 99% of the population is Sunni Muslim (38.1 million). There’s a rough estimate of 20,000 and 100,000 Christians in the nation, making up less than 1%. The report points out that it’s difficult to determine an exact number, but Christian leaders believe dozens of Muslims have converted over the years.
Though Christianity is spreading, acceptance of the conversions is slow.
Only Islam is allowed to hold public assemblies. Christian churches are under the threat of the government shutting them down, making it difficult to find places of worship and ways to build fellowship. Christians can feel alone or targeted.
But SAT-7, a Christian satellite television ministry to the Middle East and North Africa, is empowering Algerian believers.
The ministry recently recorded a performance by an Algerian choir, which will be used for their Easter program. The special, called “The Greatest Love,” will feature 10 of the choir’s worship songs and interviews with them.
“The people of Algeria are far away, but we are connected to them; and by broadcasting this special performance, we are showing that SAT-7 supports them,” SAT ARABIC’s Programming and Production Manager, Maroun Bou Rached, says.
SAT-7 hopes the performance will spark encouragement, giving believers a chance to worship and feel like they’re not alone. They’re also hoping it will trigger questions from non-believers.
“In Algeria there are very few places of worship for Christians. And we do not have opportunities to openly sing Christian songs in big budget productions like this one,” choir member, Haddou Nacer, says.
“Music is the medium we use to spread the Word of God, and when people listen to this performance they will ask, ‘Who is SAT-7? And who is Jesus?'”
Pray for Algerian Christians to find fellowship in the performance. You can tune in to the Easter program on March 27 on a SAT-7 channel or online.