Archive for Christianity

The Disappearing Church in Algeria

Posted in Algeria with tags , , , on June 12, 2008 by Mike

Open Doors USA has an alarming post about how the Church is being forced into extinction in Algeria.

In March 2006,the Algerian government introduced new legislation that redefined the conditions for exercising religious activities outside of Islam. Since November 2007, 26 of the 52 known Algerian churches have been ordered to close. Many churches that attempt to register in accordance with this new law are often denied applications by the government with little or no explanation. Send an email to the Algerian Ambassador today, asking the Algerian government to stop the church closures!

The government fears that the growth of religious minorities within Algeria will allow foreign powers to interfere with Algeria’s internal affairs. Authorities have begun comparing Christianity with terrorism, and reports encourage Muslim schools and mosques to counter this “dangerous” Christian evangelism. As the number of church closures rises and more are encouraged to fight Christianity, the Algerian church risks becoming extinct.

Spiritual revolution in Middle East

Posted in Overseas with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 25, 2006 by Mike

Just ran across Joel C. Rosenberg’s blog. In case you haven’t heard of him, he has written some great novels, the first of which was “The Last Jihad”. I guess that since I’ve only just finished reading this first one, I can’t actually say the rest are great, but he did win “Best Novel of 2006” by the ECPA for “The Ezekiel Option”. He’s got a great post about how Christianity is spreading throughout the Middle East, even in those countries which are run by fundamentalist Islamic regimes.

Iraq: more than 5,000 new Muslim converts to Christianity have been identified since the end of major combat operations, with 14 new churches opened in Baghdad, and dozens of new churches opened in Kurdistan, some of which have 500 to 800 members. Also, more than 1 million Bibles shipped into the country since 2003, and pastors report Iraqis are snatching them up so fast they constantly need more Bibles.Egypt: some reports say 1 million Egyptians have trusted Christ over the past decade or so. The Egyptian Bible Society told me they used to sell about 3,000 copies of the JESUS film a year in the early 1990s. But last year they sold 600,000 copies, plus 750,000 copies of the Bible on tape (in Arabic) and about a half million copies of the Arabic New Testament. “Egyptians are increasingly hungry for God’s Word,” an Egyptian Christian leader told me. Last Christmas, I had the privilege of visiting the largest Christian congregation in the Middle East, which meets in an enormous cave on the outskirts of Cairo. Some 10,000 believers worship there every weekend. A prayer conference the church held in May 2005 drew some 20,000 believers.

Afghanistan: only 17 Muslim converts to Christianity before 9/11/01, but now more than 10,000. Dozens of baptisms every week.

Kazakstan: only 3 known Christians in 1990, but now more than 15,000.

Uzbekistan: no known Christians in 1990, but now more than 30,000.

Sudan: more than 1 million Sudanese have converted to Christianity just since 2000, and some 5 million have become Christians since the early 1990s, despite a radical Islamic regime and an on-going genocide that has killed more than 200,000. Seminaries are being held in caves to train pastors to shepherd the huge numbers of people coming to Christ. Why such a dramatic spiritual awakening? “People have seen real Islam, and they want Jesus instead,” one Sudanese evangelical leader told me.

Iran: in 1979, there were only 500 known Muslim converts to Christianity, but today Iranian pastors and evangelical leaders tell me there are more than 1 million Iranian believers in Jesus Christ, most of whom meet in underground house churches.

He’s got some more great stories in the rest of the post.

Christians attacked for not “reconverting” to Hinduism

Posted in Overseas with tags , , , , , on December 9, 2006 by Mike

Le Journal Chretien tells of how two men in the Madhya Pradesh state in India, who converted to Christianity four years ago, were attacked for not turning back to Hinduism.

Ostracized by their village for the past year, two converts of a church in Madhya Pradesh state’s Shahdol district have been beaten for their refusal to return to the Hindu fold.
Santu Prasad Barmaia and Kunjan Prasad Barmaia, both farmers and members of a Gospel for Asia church in Paralia village, were attacked by a group of 12 villagers on October 19.The attack took place in the morning, when the two were on their way to their fields, a local Christian requesting anonymity told Compass. Both men suffered internal injuries.

Police have not arrested the culprits, the source said, in spite of the fact that the victims named them in a complaint filed at the Amarkantak police station.

Police officials could not be reached for comment.

The source explained that villagers were angry with the Christians for declining to participate in Hindu rituals since receiving Christ four years ago. “The villagers had been persistently putting pressure on them to ‘reconvert’ to Hinduism,” he said.

He added that in the past year villagers have refused to allow the two men, the only Christians in the village, to take water from the hamlet’s common well to pressure them to return to Hinduism. In spite of their limited resources, the Christians dug their own well.

“Earlier, some miscreants vandalized a Hindu temple in the village and the blame fell on the Christians,” the source said. “Later, however, police investigation revealed that they had not done it. Yet the villagers continued to treat them with contempt.”

Please remember these two brothers in your prayers.

Indian converts forced out of homes

Posted in Overseas with tags , , , , , on November 24, 2006 by Mike

Compass Direct News tells of nine families that were attacked and forced from their homes in the northeast region of India because they had converted to Christianity.


Their ordeal began when Christians attended a Pentecostal meeting held in Haldibari village last Monday (November 13).“This meeting infuriated the Bodo tribals, who organized their own religious gathering the next day,” a source told Compass.

At 8 a.m. on Tuesday morning (November 14), the tribal people of Haldibari gathered for their own meeting at the village council hall, said the Rev. Madhu Chandra, Delhi regional secretary of the All India Christian Council.

“Some of them were sympathizers of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh [RSS, a Hindu extremist group],” Rev. Chandra said. “Under their influence, the group resolved to evacuate Christian families from the village.”

At around 2:30 p.m. that day, 25 Bodo villagers went to the homes of three Christian families in Haldibari and attacked their houses. The violence soon spread to the neighboring villages of Moflabari, Jamduguri and Basdari.

Sadly, on 16 May, Compass reported that the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom failed to include India on it’s recommended list of Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) for 2006. Contact the Commission here to urge them to include India in its list for recommended CPCs for 2007.