People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria
Area: 2,381,741 sq km
Area: 2,381,741 sq km
Algeria is officially a Muslim nation and is the largest country on the Mediterranean Sea. In 1992 the Islamic party capitalized on popular discontent and won the elections. The government declared the vote invalid and led the country into a decade of civil war. Over 100,000 people, mostly civilians, died, and the country is deeply traumatized by the violence it has witnessed.
A “state of emergency” has existed in the country since this time, but this was lifted when revolution began in Tunisia!
The country ranks fourteenth in petroleum reserves. The fossil fuels sector is the backbone of Algeria’s economy.
Around 1981, God began to move in an amazing way amongst the seven million Kabyle Berber people. This people group has long suffered under discrimination, and many are tired of the Islamic religion. Today, there are tens of thousands of Kabyle believers in the country who worship the Lord Jesus. This is the fastest growing church movement in the Muslim world.
‘Arab spring’ uprisings also began in Algeria at the start of 2011. Large demonstrations were held in many cities and towns. Some were stopped with great force and violence. The population then turned to strikes rather than demonstrations. Many sectors of the community have held strikes as a form of protest. The general feeling is that the government is afraid of an uprising. Other political commentators have said that Algeria experienced its revolution in the 1990’s and many are not keen to return to the violence they experienced during that decade.
St. Augustine was an Algerian
Augustine had heard a voice singing from a nearby house. He paused wondering why such a voice would sing those words, picking up the Apostle Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, his eyes fell on the verse: “Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” He then gave his life to the Lord Jesus.
—The Confessions of Saint Augustine, born 13 November 430 in Algeria
Many of the fathers of the Christian faith were North Africans. They helped to form the faith that we know. Many believe that the seed of this early Christian church will one day sprout and bloom again. Ask God to do this to bring glory to His name.
Key Scripture to Pray
“Look at the nations and watch—and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.” —Habakkuk 1:5
What to Pray
The unfinished task in Algeria is still huge. Outside the Kabyle mountains, there are 30 million unreached mostly Arab peoples. There may be around 1,000 believers gathering in 25-30 mainly small fellowships.
- Pray that more Arabs would come to know the Lord.
- Pray for the Kabyle church to send out effective witnesses to the rest of Algeria.
- Pray for several local Bible schools that are training believers to serve in the church and around the country.
- Pray for increased freedom to worship and proclaim the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Economy and Society:
- Unemployment is high, pray for those who are unemployed – to have hope, instead of turning to crime or having to rely on others in the family to provide.
- Pray that job creation be on the government agenda.
- Pray that the authorities will pay attention to the needs of the poor and unemployed.
- The cost of living is high, many people find it harder to afford rent and food. There is an increasing dissatisfaction among the population.
- Corruption is a big issue in Algeria. Pray that God would raise up people in authority who are willing to address this issue.
An Algerian national commented that the last 10 years has seen a marked increase in more open homosexuality, homelessness and street kids. Who will take the gospel to these sectors of the community?
- Pray that God will encounter these people with His love.
- Pray that the Lord would open this country up further. Foreign investment and business is hard to establish. Tourism is difficult to promote since visas are hard to get. One person commented that obtaining a visa has become much harder in the last year than before that.
- Pray that the border between Morocco and Algeria would one day open again. The border was closed when Morocco cut off relations with Algeria who supported the separatist movement in Western Sahara which Morocco claims as its own. Pray for resolution to this situation. Many families were separated when the borders closed with some family members in Morocco and some in Algeria.
- The education system needs to be reformed. Most education is government controlled. Private schools are very expensive. Teachers and schools experience very little accountability and quality control resulting in sub-standard education in many schools. Some children can not read despite attending school. Class size in many government schools are too big and the children stop attending.
- The national church continues to face persecution and intimidation. Praise God that recent laws closing existing church facilities were overturned. Algeria is one of the few North African nations where a national church is permitted to own buildings and conduct open services.
- Pray for an increase desire for prayer – seeking God for a total transformation of their country. Pray for repentance and unity in the Body.
- Discipleship is a huge need. Many don’t receive adequate discipleship. Some don’t attend churches or are not in regular fellowship with other believers. Better discipleship is particularly needed for women married to Muslims.
- Children’s ministry is also lacking in the church. Pray that churches will be better trained, equipped and inspired to develop better children’s ministry in the church context. Pray that Christian parents will also be better trained and equipped to train up their children in the Lord.
- There are very few workers in Algeria. Some who are presently in country are leaving due to visa and residencies not being renewed. Pray that the Lord would have His way in this.