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According to Mission Network News, Algeria gained new leadership this summer, but believers face the same persecution and oppression as before. “Unfortunately, church closures are continuing. Four more churches have been ordered to cease all their activities, but they have not been physically sealed,” Daniel Hoffman of Middle East Concern says. “In total, 20 churches have been stopped from meeting and operating by the authorities.” Algerian Christians face systemic persecution through the legal system. A 2006 law requires all non-Muslim religions to register their place of worship, but officials have yet to approve any applications. Earlier this year, three previously-closed churches appealed their court-ordered closure. A judge allowed the churches to reopen and stay open during the legal proceedings, but the final ruling did not favor the believers. “In July of this year, those three churches were [re-closed and] sealed,” Hoffman says. Once a court orders a church to close, “the police come, and they put wax on the door, so you can’t open the door without breaking the seal. That’s a crime in itself,” he continues. “No churches have been allowed to reopen.” “Pray Christians in Algeria will remain encouraged during the challenges and difficulties they’re facing,” Hoffman requests.
According to Mission Network News, Resources intended to help the poorest of the poor in Lebanon now fill the pockets of bandits. Lebanon’s Central Security Council recently installed more checkpoints to prevent a rising tide of theft. “Because we don’t have a banking system that’s working, people carry cash, and this is a big risk,” Nuna of Triumphant Mercy Lebanon says. “Ministries and other NGOs, even the secular NGOs, [are] reporting people [robbing] them because they know NGOs are helping people and always have money with them.” So far, none of Triumphant Mercy’s workers have been robbed, but thieves broke in last month and stole a generator. Nuna says she’s considering installing cameras or hiring a security guard. “I can do what I can, but at the end of the day, I [say], ‘Everything is Yours, Jesus. You protect Your stuff; You protect Your money.’”
According to Mission Network News, Trans World Radio has developed mobile studios to use in parts of Central Asia. Frank Stephenson says when people can’t make it to a studio to record programming, the studio will come to them. “When we’re talking about Central Asia, we’re also talking about a very vast geographical area. Maybe we can compare it to the Midwest, where you have these great plains and just big distances. That’s how it is in Central Asia. Most people live in rural communities.” Trans World Radio broadcasts the story of Jesus to people all around the world. In Central Asia, that often means serving persecuted Christians. Stephenson says, “How can we support these believers who don’t have a place to go to? Well, we can provide content through media and radio. But if we want to also get their stories, we need to meet in the same area. We can do that more easily with a mobile studio. Maybe we can’t meet in their town, but maybe they can go somewhere nearby and meet there.” Stephenson says some of these Christians face persecution directly from their governments. Others see it more from their families, neighbors, and local authorities. “They don’t have maybe a church to go to or even Bible study groups. Some became believers while living abroad, others through media and radio. Everyone has a different story.”
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In closing, remember, God loves you. He always has and He always will. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you don’t know Jesus as your Saviour, today is a good day to get to know Him. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
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