This article was originally published in Edition (7) of Prayer Magazine,  Jul-Sep 2006.

From the comfort of our familiar surroundings it’s often easy to detach ourselves from events that are going on in other nations thousands of miles away.  It’s even more difficult to muster interest in conflict situations we don’t understand.  The media often portrays only part of the story.

Today around the world there are very difficult scenarios being played out that involve outright war, political wrestling of nations, and the UN trying to help nations in which people are starving because of drought and famine etc.  Dictators are living lives of luxury while leading nations where ethnic cleansing is normal, innocent victims are being evicted and homes destroyed, because they are not from the ‘correct cultural background’.

We now live in a world of irony where power broking nations have the resources to put right much of what’s wrong, but often don’t as the desire to help others to this level would require sacrifice greater than anyone seems prepared to make.  In recent years we have seen Music Superstars like Bono become the un-elected voice of the needy, challenging the core of the West’s belief system, and reminding us all that ‘people are dying out there’.

Perceived frustrations over the years have been building between the two biggest religions each perceiving the other as ‘the enemy’ of their freedom, and caught in the middle of that battle are the ordinary people on both sides who don’t want to be found accused of being the oppressor, or be found in the ranks of the oppressed. 

Islam is in crisis.  Militant fundamentalism has been allowed to grow and increase in influence from within Islam itself over the last 20 to 30 years.  The corruption of the wealthy Gulf States and the support of the West for the State of Israel have been major factors stimulating its growth.  It would be fair to say that the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq are seen by many Muslims as 21st Century Crusades of the ‘Christian West’ against Muslim nations.  It is hard for us in the West to understand how or why they think this way but history is taught and interpreted in a very different way if you are brought up in a Muslim nation.

So how do we pray for Muslims in a world like this?

The simple answer is with love, not treating people as the enemy but treating ordinary people as friends.   Can we reach out in acts of kindness and consideration to the people around us that society now suggests we should be suspicious of?

Today only 2% of missionary activity and financial resources are focused on the area with the greatest need of the gospel.  Is there any surprise that few have responded?  However Islam is in crisis.  There is a massive disillusionment, particularly among the youth.  They can see the politico-religious system in Iran and what is happening between Sunni and Shia’a Muslims in Iraq.  More recently what has been going on in Darfur has come to light.  There is a veneer of a unified and strong religion but in reality Islam is an edifice which in many places around the world is ready to collapse.  When this happens there will be the opportunity for a massive turning to Christ with millions flooding into the Kingdom. 

Can we believe for this?  Will we dare to rise up and pray and take action to demonstrate the love of God and preach the message of salvation to Muslims all over the world?

Below we have highlighted a nation that needs our prayers.  Each month we will bring a different nation to you to pray for, we will highlight it’s needs and suggest some prayer points.

Algeria.

The Algerian Government has just passed a law which effectively bans Christian meetings in homes and the production and distribution of Christian literature.  Here are 2 extracts which will become law on the 1st August.

OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF THE ALGERIAN REPUBLIC NUMBER 12 Aouel Safar 1427 1st  March 2006

 

Art. 7. - Collective exercise of religious worship takes place exclusively in structures intended for this purpose, open to the public and identifiable from the exterior.

 

Art. 11. - Imprisonment from two years to five years and a fine from 500.000 DA to 1.000.000 DA for whomever: makes, stores, or distributes printed documents or audiovisual productions or by any other aid or means, which has as its goal to shake the faith of a Muslim.

 

Algeria has a population of about 33,000,000 of which about 5,000,000 are Berbers. The largest Berber tribe by far is known as Kabyle and most churches are in their area.  An estimate is that there are now between 15,000 and 20,000 believers in about 60-80 churches. The few churches outside the Kabele area are also largely made up of Kabyle, who have migrated to other parts of Algeria.

We have been in contact with believers inside Algeria they are not intimidated by the new law and they intend to continue to preach the gospel boldly and stand up for religious liberty including the right of a Muslim to convert to Christianity.

  • Pray for boldness and love in spreading the good news
  • Pray for a holding back of the forces of violence
  • Pray for increased distribution and availability of Christian literature
  • Pray for a massive turning of Arab Muslims to Christ
  • Pray for the protection of believers
  • Pray for the planning of hundreds of church across the whole of Algeria
  • Pray for the fire which is has started in the Kabyle region to spread across the whole of North Africa

So don’t give up as you now have information on a Nation that perhaps you didn’t have before.  Prayer is a partnership with God, we Pray and He moves amongst the nations.  Let’s continue to believe that the Message of the Love of Christ will spread to every Nation, tribe and tongue, and who knows perhaps the poor, needy, homeless and oppressed will see the love and peace that we so often take for granted.

3P Ministries

www.3pministries.org

3P Ministries brings together three agencies (DAWN International Network, Interprayer and HMK, Switzerland) with a track record in church planting, prayer and helping the persecuted church. The three 'P's are Planting, Prayer and Persecution.

The work of 3P ministries is mainly focused in North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and South East Asia - areas where billions of people have yet to hear and receive the gospel and lack churches within their own communities.

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