As persecution persists and grows in the many regions Bibles for Mideast serves, we delight in telling you stories of how the Lord’s work persists and spreads as well … often with surprising results.
How about this dire government warning issued in a Muslim-dominated region of Africa where house church growth has been remarkable?
“If you see your child suddenly forgiving, jolly, happy, listening to you, not arguing, talking about not hating, these are the signs that they might be going to an underground church. This is a threat to your family.”
Reported by Christian satellite TV network SAT-7’s ‘people on the ground’ in that country, the organization’s recent newsletter goes on to detail some of the more honestly threatening conditions believers live under.
“Church growth has been strong in my country,” an Algerian believer told them, “but recently churches have been subject to a government crackdown, with several being closed. Every three months, our church holds a baptism, sometimes for more than 100 people. Then the government closed our own church, along with four others. But the more problems the church faces, the stronger they grow.”
“We cannot worship regularly in any one place,” another believer explained. “It would be too dangerous and attract attention. We are always being watched. We rotate where we meet and arrive at random times and through different routes. Everyone is always vigilant.
“When the authorities find an underground church, they enter the room, take all our cell phones, all our computers- anything they can use to extract information to find others like us. They look for links, for networks of believers, especially house church leaders. They want to know who is influencing us. And they accuse us of working with ‘foreign enemies’ saying that we are undermining the nation.
“They demand, ‘Who is your teacher? Where are your Bibles? Who is your pastor? You are illegal, propagating false and illegal teachings. Show us your license to meet! You are not registered!’ They use threats and intimidation. Without cause, our teachers and pastors are taken away. They disappear for days, weeks, or are never seen again.”
Will you help us spread the Gospel and establish new churches across these countries and regions so desperate for God’s love? Only together can we fulfill the Great Commission.
* SAT-7 broadcasts in Arabic, Persian and Turkish across 25 countries in the Middle East and North Africa, along with about 50 countries in Europe.