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Algeria: Chaima and Ali

Chaima and Ali now serve the Lord together.

Chaima had never met a Christian. Most of the people where she lived in Algeria followed Islam, the religion of Muslims. So how did Chaima decide to follow Jesus if she didn’t know any Christians and had never been to church? She listened to Christian radio stations and wrote down the Bible verses she heard on the program.

Ali
One day, Chaima met a young man at a bus stop. The young man, Ali, was attracted to her. “May I talk to you?” Ali asked her. Chaima knew it could be dangerous to be a Christian in her country. But she answered Ali, “No. Don’t talk to me. I am a Christian.”

Still hoping to find favor with her, Ali said to Chaima, “My brother is a Christian.”

“Really?” Chaima asked.

But there were many things he DIDN’T tell Chaima. For one thing, Ali was a strict Muslim and he had been trained to fight alongside radical Islamists. He had forbidden his own mother and sisters to watch TV because he wanted them to be stricter Muslims. As for his Christian brother, Ali thought he deserved to be dead because he had left Islam to follow Christ.

The Bible and a Dream
But Chaima didn’t know any of that. She asked Ali if he could please get a Bible from his brother for her. Ali was eager to please Chaima, so he did get a Bible for her. But before he gave it to her, he read it to see what it said. He began to compare its teachings with the words of the Quran, the Muslim holy book. (Read about the differences between the Bible and the Quran here, here, and here.

Then one night he had a dream that Jesus spoke to him and said, “Come to me all who are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest.” (See Matthew 11:28.) Ali woke up. He felt as if a load had been lifted from his shoulders. “Lord, forgive me,” he prayed. “You are Christ, You are God, and I believe.”

Chaima and Ali Today
Chaima and Ali are now married. They work as a team among Muslims, and they have led many people to Christ. They meet with other Christians secretly in homes, cafes, and parks, because police officers are watching them.

Ali is not worried. “When I die, I know where I am going,” he told a worker from The Voice of the Martyrs. Ali and Chaima teach new believers to expect persecution. But they encourage them to trust that Jesus will always be with them.

(Source: The March 2019 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine)


This Month

Parents and Teachers
The March 2019 issue of The Voice of the Martyrs magazine features stories about Christians from the North African countries of Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, and Morocco. The issue includes an article about Cyprian, a North African Christian who was martyred by the Romans in the year 258. Today, both radical Muslim groups and government authorities across North Africa still persecute Christians. You can share the stories of North African Christians on this site with your children, then pray together for the people in the stories.

Note: To subscribe to the free monthly The Voice of the Martyrs magazine, visit the subscription signup page.

Additional Related Resources
*Bold Believers books about Egypt, Morocco, and Algeria/Tunisia are available in the free Downloads section.
*Egypt lesson plan.
*Torchlighters DVDs about North Africans Perpetua and Augustine
*The Kids of Courage VBS curriculum.
*Enter a country name in the Search box on this site to find additional stories and information.


Joshua: A Ugandan Kid of Courage

Joshua

“I was taught from when I was young that Christians are not good people,” said Joshua, a 10-year-old boy in Uganda. “So I would approach them with caution.”

But then one day, Joshua’s older sister came home and said that she had become a Christian! Joshua’s strict Muslim father invited his relatives to come to their house. The relatives took turns punishing Joshua’s sister, but she stood firm in her faith in Christ.

Joshua became quite fearful of his father after that. But then he decided to act despite his fear. “One day I made a decision in my heart and simply started going to church,” said Joshua. “I just targeted one Sunday and ran to church. I understood everything that was said, and I learned how to make my own prayers, which was not the case before.” (Muslims pray certain memorized prayers five times a day.)

When Joshua’s father discovered that his son had become a Christian, he again invited relatives to the house to beat one of his own children — this time it was Joshua. For three months, Joshua’s father and uncles beat him when he returned home from church. “But I always went back home after church until they gave up,” said Joshua. “My family threatened not to give me school fees to attend school, but I have never stopped going to school. I still live at home with my parents.

“I love church, and Christians are good people and very friendly. I am still learning, and now with this Bible [given to him by VOM workers], I will have something more to read.

“My parents love me, but they keep threatening me about my faith in Christ. Pray that I remain strong in the Lord and help my friends to know Christ like me.”

(Source: VOM contacts. Edited for length and clarity.)


Election Day

On Election Day in the United States, citizens vote for candidates running for president and other public offices.

In recent years, a church in Uzbekistan held an unusual election. Two choices appeared on the ballot:

  • Will we follow the instructions of the police?
  • Will we follow the Bible?

The police said that the Christians were not allowed to meet together to worship God because their church was not registered with the government. However, the government would not register the church.

The congregation decided to follow the Bible. No one voted for the other choice, even though they knew they would be persecuted for their decision. After the vote, the police constantly gave the congregation a hard time. Once they arrested everyone at a youth group meeting and burned their Bibles. Later, officials kicked the pastor and his family out of the country.

Christians in many countries continue to trust God even when it is risky to follow him.

“Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.” (See Joshua 24:15.)


The Next Generation of Believers

KOC

Message from a VOM Supporter

“When I talk with parents about persecution, a common concern they share is their hesitation to share this with their children. Many parents are afraid it might confuse or frighten their children. They worry that knowing about persecution might discourage their child’s young faith from growing.

“But what I have experienced is the complete opposite. If presented properly, it does not upset children, but builds up their faith. It triggers a loving response in them because they feel a connection with other Christians and want to reach out to them. This builds up their understanding of unity.

“The message of the persecuted church is not a message of hopelessness and fear, but of Christ empowering his followers with overcoming faith and strength.

“Read 2 Timothy 1:8. What an awesome way to impart to our children the fellowship of the body, and not just teach it to our children, but to live it with our children. What a tremendous opportunity we have to build up the next generation of believers!”