By Mark Ellis –
The world’s largest Arab country, once home to the Phoenicians, Romans, Ottomans, and French is now home to a growing number of Christian believers, despite significant persecution.
Algeria is at least 95 percent Muslim, and believers face intolerable pressures from family and neighbors militating against the open expression of their faith, along with anti-conversion and blasphemy laws, according to Open Doors’ World Watch List.
Yet in God’s economy, as much as Satan attempts to squeeze the church, the faster it grows. This has been demonstrated during the last decade in Algeria.
“In 2008, there were an estimated 10,000 Christians…by 2015, that number had grown to 380,000. I believe it could now be approaching 500,000,” notes Dr. Rex Rogers, president of SAT-7 USA. He attributes a healthy portion of the growth to Christian satellite programming they produce and beam into this and other North African countries.
Joshua Project, which also tracks the growth of the church, confirms there are at least 600,000 professing Christians in Algeria, a huge increase propelled by the Holy Spirit.
“There is now a rapidly growing church in Northern Algeria with 1,000 believers. So many are coming to Christ that every few months they hold a baptism service where 60 to 100 new believers declare their new faith,” Rogers says. This church has already planted 14 daughter churches, he says.
One Berber woman shared the following testimony with SAT-7: “I was married at 16; my father had chosen a man for me to be my husband, a man that I had never met. I suffered a lot with him; he was always beating me, even without any reason. Beatings and scolding women are a part of manhood in our society.
“I begged my husband to divorce me, but he refused. After 23 years of suffering, my husband heard about Jesus Christ and accepted Him as his Lord and Master. His character has changed. He’s not that tough man anymore. He shared with me about the God of hope. With my eyes shut, I accepted Jesus, who has changed my husband’s life, and so did my two sons and my daughter.”
This testimony came into SAT-7 from a man who once lived a depraved lifestyle: “I stole; I was a thief. I abused drugs over a period of 17 years. I destroyed my life by myself.
“Then a miracle happened after I believed in the Messiah. I stopped abusing drugs completely. I surrendered my life to the Lord. I felt as if I had never taken drugs a day in my life. God poured out His peace and reassurance on my wounded heart. The weight that I had been carrying on my shoulders for so long was lifted. God changed my life completely…
“Today I thank God for the great work He did in my life. Jesus is my close friend, from whom I cannot separate! Glory be to God, praise the name of the Lord. This is not fiction. I call on those who want to give up drugs. I hope as God produced a miracle in my life, that he produces many miracles in your lives also.”
Another woman who endured an abusive home life also shared about an encounter with Jesus – through a mysterious light that came into her room in the middle of the night:
“My husband was an alcoholic. He beat me severely and cursed me all the time. Once he kept beating me until I passed out.”
Then something unusual happened. “One night I was sleeping; at about 2:00 a.m., I saw a green light glide across the room. I saw the light reflect across the wall and (I) cried out joyfully. ‘Oh joy, oh joy, oh joy. Our Lord, Jesus Christ, our Lord, Jesus Christ!’
“I began to celebrate in my dream. Yes, the light of our Lord Jesus Christ was shining. I saw the light of Christ with my own eyes that day.”
Inspired by her story, her husband and daughters began to follow Jesus. “Wake up from your slumber,” she says to those who have not yet believed. “Christ is the way. Christ is the Truth, the giver of life. Christ is the giver of peace. Wake up brothers and sisters! Christ’s way is the way of mercy. There is no life apart from Christ.”
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