On Dec. 26, about 50 Muslim extremists tried to prevent a congregation of Christian converts from holding a Christmas service in the city of Tizi-Ouzou, northern Algeria, according to Compass Direct News. Members of the Tafat Church were gathering for the meeting when they were confronted by protestors who barred the church building’s doors. “This land is the land of Islam! Go pray somewhere else,” some of the protestors reportedly said.
The pastor was threatened with death, and the protestors stayed outside the church until Dec. 28. Some of them broke into the new building and stole microphones and speakers. The building’s electricity was also cut off.
The believers, who previously met in a small rented building, had been gathering in the new building since November to accommodate nearly 350 Christians. A few weeks before the Christmas protest, community residents signed a petition saying they did not want the church to operate near their homes and wanted it to close. Local authorities presented the petition to the church, which is legally authorized to exist under the Protestant Church of Algeria. The believers reportedly do not plan to respond to the petition.
Pray that these Christians will remain committed to their faith. Pray that freedom of religion will be upheld by Algerian officials. Pray that the ministry of churches in Algeria will continue and that the gospel will be preached throughout the nation.
Posted: January 12, 2010