Friday, December 9, 2011

A long bus ride in Algeria

This story was originally published for Kids of Courage, the children’s ministry of The Voice of the Martyrs.

Gerard is a Christian worker in Algeria. In 2006, the government passed a new law that said churches must register with the government. But the authorities did not grant many churches registration, so churches that continued to meet were “illegal.” Then the government began closing down unregistered churches.

“The government is always going to come up with new laws,” said Gerard. “They are not believers, so they cannot understand the hope we have.”

The government gives individual Christians a hard time, too. Two years ago, a student in a secret Bible school was stopped at a checkpoint. When soldiers found Bible study materials in her bag, they arrested her.

Gerard was also bothered by the police. He was riding on a bus when it was stopped by police at a checkpoint. After they searched his bag and found a Bible, they began to curse him. “This is my faith. This is what I believe,” Gerard told a policeman. The policeman spat on him.

Everyone on the bus saw what happened, so they found out that Gerard was a Christian. For the rest of the bus ride, they insulted him. “All of them started to say bad things,” Gerard said. “I hoped that the long ride would finish soon.”

No one on the bus hurt Gerard, but he has been beaten for his faith before. Still, his trust in Christ remains strong. “Even if they arrest or beat me or something, they cannot come into my mind and change my mind,” he said.

For other stories about the persecuted Church to share with your kids or Sunday school class, visit Kids of Courage today!

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