Tunisia (MNN) — Tunisia holds a small Church with little more than 500 people, with believers from Muslim backgrounds. They don’t typically face violence for their faith, but many live as pariahs among their families and communities.
On top of that, it can be difficult for the Church to grow. We spoke to a Tunisian Christian who lives outside the country. For safety reasons, we will call him Joe. He says, “Statistically, we have lots of people that have come to the faith and get baptized as disciples. And then we lose them. It’s a big number of people that we have lost. They came to get baptized, and we don’t see them afterward. One reason is fear.”
“Secondly, it’s the mentality. They don’t understand why they should belong to only one group.”
When the call to prayer goes out, as it does five times a day throughout Tunisia, Muslims go to any nearby mosque. They do not belong to one congregation. Joining a local Christian church is a hard transition.
Pray that God will bring an understanding of diversity to the Tunisian Christian community. Joe says, “We can be different. We worship in different ways. That problem of disunity, it exists with the missionaries themselves. It’s sad when you see mature believers coming to do mission work, but they want to do the mission work not only for Christ, but for their denomination.”
This leads to a lot of problems in ministry, Joe says. “The Baptists say, ‘Oh, I don’t like the Pentecostals,’ and vice versa.”
Ask God to bring unity and growth to the Church in Tunisia.
Christians coming from a Muslim background in Tunisia relearn a lot of what they know about the Bible and Jesus. It can be an identity crisis as people learn things as simple as the word “Hallelujah.” The discipleship takes time.
There are parts of the Christian life that Muslims in Tunisia will already be more familiar with. Joe says, “In Tunisia, we don’t have polygamy, for example.”