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Algeria: Amin Finds the Truth

Pressure cookers

Amin is a Christian from Algeria. Recently he shared his story with Todd Nettleton of VOM Radio. You can read what Amin said below. (Edited for length and clarity.)

Amin’s Story
I grew up in a Muslim family. I was among those kids that some people took to the local mosque. They took us through the ABCs of Islam. [Islam is the religion of Muslims.] They saw us as future leaders.

When I was about 12, we heard news coming from Afghanistan about Algerians who died in the battlefields. We were really proud of them.

We didn’t have satellite [TV] channels; we only had radios. I was listening to [Christian radio], and I had heard good stories. As a good Muslim, I wrote down the address and sent them letters trying to convince them that they were wrong. They sent me back a letter and a copy of the Gospel of Luke. I started reading, and I said, “OK, I will show these Christians that their Bible is falsified.”

But at the end of my homework, I found that the Bible is the truth. I was listening to a program whose name in English is “Through the Bible.” The presenter invited the listeners to give their lives to Jesus. I was a teenager, and this is how I came to know the Lord.

Explosion
Sometime after that, I was at a local house church, and I was cooking. A pressure cooker exploded in my face. I went home and my father said, “This is a warning from heaven.”

At that time, my faith fell apart. I went on the top of my house, and I was asking Jesus, “Where are you? I am in trouble, help me.” Then I felt kind of like someone was there and was hugging me, and I said, “Jesus, You are here.” It was a special moment as if Jesus wanted to tell me that I should be in joy when persecution comes. I experienced joy that comes from heaven. It cannot be human; it cannot come from other sources except from heaven. [Whatever persecution comes], I am ready to pay the price.

To Talk About
*What did Amin’s father mean when he told Amin that the explosion was a “warning from heaven”? What do you think he wanted Amin to do?
*Why did Amin’s faith “fall apart”?
*Can you find any Bible verses that might help persecuted Christians strengthen their faith in time of trouble?

Learn more about Muslims in Algeria in Bold Believers in Algeria and Tunisia, available in the Downloads section.


Algeria: Jesus Is Proud of You

Officials in Algeria have shut down some churches by sealing the doors shut so Christians can’t enter. (See the photo.) Most of the people in Algeria are Muslims.

Muslims noticed what was happening to Christians and how the Christians responded. One day a young Muslim man left a note at the door of one of the closed churches.

The note said:

“To close a church is something unacceptable. It is for this reason that I stand with you in your noble and just fight. I applaud each Christian for being committed to their religion, since being a Christian in our society requires sacrifices. You are Christians even though society scorns you, even though sometimes your family does too. I am sure that Jesus is proud of you because at times you must lay aside the things that are important to you to follow his path. All my respect for all of you.”

To Talk About
*What do you think the Christians in Algeria did to earn the Muslim man’s respect?
*The Muslim man mentioned some of the sacrifices that Algerian Christians make. What were they?
*What are some things you can do to earn the respect of non-believers who know you are a Christian?

Learn more in Bold Believers in Algeria and Tunisia, available in the Downloads section.


Double Country Word Find

Print the puzzle below. Hidden in the puzzle are the names of seven countries where Christian activities are limited in some way. Each country’s name is hidden TWICE. Look for the following countries running vertically (up and down), horizontally (across), or diagonally (slanted): Iraq, China, Nigeria, North Korea, India, Vietnam, Algeria.

N O R T H K O R E A
V I E T N A M A Z Y
N I B C C I N D I A
I I E W H T G S H A
G C G T I I W I C L
E X D E N R N R H G
R E V F R A A A I E
I N D I A I M Q N R
A L G E R I A U A I
N O R T H K O R E A

Pray with Kids in the United Kingdom

Release International, located in the United Kingdom, is a member of The Voice of the Martyrs’ family of missions. (Read more about VOM’s family of missions around the world here.) Release International encourages kids to pray for Christians in countries where followers of Christ are persecuted. Read some of their recent prayer suggestions below, and choose one to pray for today.

Algerian children

Prayer request: Some children in Algeria can no longer see their dad. After he became a Christian, their mom’s family made her leave him and take the children with her.
Prayer: Dear Father God, please be very close to the children in Algeria who cannot see their dad anymore. Please bless their hearts as they miss their dad very much and he misses them. Help their dad trust You. Give him Your hope, strength and great love. Please help the children and their mom believe in Jesus and see their Dad again. Help their mom’s family believe in Jesus too. Thank you. Amen.

Iranian parents and child

Prayer request: A child’s parents were taken from their home by the police because the parents love and follow Jesus. The dad’s name is Amir Taleipour and the mom is Mahnaz Harati.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, please help this child not be scared but to trust You and know Your love more than ever before. Set the mom and dad free from prison so they can all be together again. Help the mom and dad trust You to look after their child, as they must be so worried. Keep them all safe. Fill their hearts with Your love. Help the police believe in You too. Amen.

Girl in Uzbekistan

Prayer request: Pray for youth in Uzbekistan who are forced by police to sign papers that tell lies about their pastor. The police also tried to force a woman named Lolakhon Umarova to say bad things about her pastor. She said “No,” so the police made her family throw her and her son out of their home.
Prayer: Dear God, please help the boy and his mother to find somewhere safe and nice to live. Please fill the Christian youth in Uzbekistan with Your power, love and truth. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Find more about Christians in Iran, Uzbekistan, and Algeria in Bold Believers books, available in the Downloads section.

 


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)