During the 40 days of Lent I’m committed to praying each day for Christians in the 40 countries where the cost of being a follower of Christ is highest. I invite you to do the same. The information on the prayer needs of each country comes from a combination of Open Doors, Barnabas Fund and Operation World.
Praying for Tunisia
Although the constitution provides for freedom of religion, churches face some restrictions. Islam is the main religion and Islamic religious education is a compulsory subject in schools. Evangelism is not allowed, but there have been several reports of people converting to Christianity. This sometimes gives rise to hostility or rejection from the family or community. However, many seekers are finding Jesus Christ, particularly through Christian satellite TV programmes and internet sites.
Challenge for Prayer
In earlier centuries the Christian Church was widespread, producing such leaders as Tertullian and Cyprian. Schism, heresy, failures to put roots deep into the local culture and to translate the Bible into local languages, foreign invasions and finally Islam brought about its demise. There are about 500 committed indigenous believers today, but only one-third of those meet together regularly for worship. Pray that a living, growing Church might become a reality again in this land.
Islam is experiencing a new vitality in Tunisia, which has not been particularly renowned for its religious commitment. In the years since 9/11 and subsequent events in the political-religious sphere, many Tunisians have become more fervent in their Islamic faith. This is reflected in their choice of clothing as well as mosque attendance. Although the government strives against politicized Islam, the general trend in the Arab world at large and locally, and the lack of future prospects for the younger generation, are pulling society toward greater Islamization.
- That new believers will have the courage to meet others for fellowship
- That those who are looking for the truth would be open towards Christianity
- That the small church will grow and be firmly rooted, with a deepening of faith through Christian media.