“I will give you 15 days to decide to abandon your Christian faith. If you choose not to, you will no longer be considered my daughter and will no longer be part of the family.” The words of her father felt like the blow of a hammer to Nedjma*, who had always had a good relationship with her father and the rest of her family.
These harsh words were said after Nedjma’s father discovered that she had converted to Jesus Christ years ago. Nedjma had already been a Christian for more than 10 years, but she was a secret believer in her family. Deeply rooted in a radical version of Islam, her father couldn’t live with the choice she had made.
Nedjma lives with Rafik*, her Christian husband. Nedjma’s father was also unaware of his son-in-law’s Christian faith.
From the beginning of their marriage, Nedjma and Rafik always managed to be evasive in conversations and discussions with her father and family on religion. This time there was no escape from telling the truth.
Rafik tells what happened: “Because he was insisting that we pray the Muslim prayer, I had to tell him that as a Christian, I pray in the way Jesus taught in the Gospels. Then he turned to his daughter and asked: ‘And you? Are you also a Christian?’ My wife responded that she was. His face turned bright red and anger burned in his eyes.” He then left the house.
Two days later, he visited them again. “He explained to us that in Islam, an apostate deserves to be killed if he or she does not return to Islam. He did not threaten to kill us, but he made clear that he wanted us to renounce our Christian faith,” continues Rafik. “He gave my wife a period of fifteen days to make the decision to turn her back on her Christian faith. He asked the opinion of an Imam who advised him on this course of action.”
They will not renounce their Christian faith despite knowing they will lose their family. “We pray for my father; that the Lord might open his eyes, and that he will be touched by the grace of God and will convert to Christ, too,” Nedjma added.
*names have been changed.
- Pray for Nedjma and Rafik. Pray for courage as they stand firm in their faith, and for protection over them and their family.
- Pray for Nedjma’s father, to see the reality of their faith and commitment to Jesus, and to have a hunger to know this for himself.
- Pray for Algerian Christians who daily face the threat of persecution, ostracism from their families and communities, and even death.
- Pray for the Church in Algeria, to continue to grow, to be strong in faith and to witness to the truth of the Gospel of Jesus, that many in this country will come to know His truth, grace and love.
Mark 10 vs 29 – 30: “Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age … and in the age to come, eternal life“