5 misperceptions the American Church has of North Africa

North Africa (MNN) — North African international locations sit squarely within the 10/40 Window – the a part of the world with probably the most unreached folks teams. The vast majority of North African international locations comply with Islam and have little Christian affect.

However what does missions in North Africa actually seem like?

We spoke with Dennis Wiens, the Director of Church Connections with SAT-7, a satellite tv for pc TV ministry to the Center East and North Africa (MENA). He says there are a number of frequent misperceptions relating to spreading the Gospel in North Africa.

north africa

(Photograph courtesy of SAT-7)

Misperception #1 – There isn’t a neighborhood Church motion in North Africa.

For one, Wiens says persons are typically unaware of the indigenous Church in North African international locations. “Almost every country has a Church now…. Especially North Africa, these countries have a Church. They might be underground, it might be a house Church, but there is a Church.”

Due to this misperception, believers within the West typically assume they should pour all their sources into sending international missionaries to North Africa. However Wiens suggests this isn’t the simplest use of missional sources.

“We have this perception of closed countries and I think the West is in a very traditional mindset in terms of outreach…. We haven’t transitioned yet to a new phase of collaborative partnership with the indigenous Church around the world.”

Wiens says relating to North African missions, the query we ought to be asking is, “How can we in the West come alongside and empower that Church?”

Misperception #2 — Christians in North Africa have the identical freedoms we do in America.

On the flipside, many Christians are additionally blind to the persecution going down in North Africa.

“People assume that the rest of the world has freedoms like we have,” Wiens says. “We have freedoms to go to Church, to worship. The rest of the world doesn’t understand those freedoms and we sometimes impose that understanding [of] our freedoms, thinking the rest of the world is like that. But there is severe persecution.”

2019 World Watch Listing naming the highest 50 international locations the place it’s most harmful to be a Christian. (Picture courtesy of Open Doorways)

On the World Watch Listing of nations with the worst Christian persecution, three of the highest 10 are in North Africa — Libya, Sudan, and Eritrea.

Nevertheless, Wiens says, “Even in the midst of hostilities, we see God working in incredible ways. The Church is growing.”

Misperception #3 — After we share our religion in hostile locations like North Africa, we have to be armed with the very best arguments.

“Another misperception is that when we witness, we [must be] more confrontational. But just living your faith even in hostile situations is a tremendous witness.”

Wiens says that is an space the place Christians within the West can study from their brothers and sisters in North Africa. It may be tempting to go on the offensive when your religion is beneath assault. Within the West, such assaults are largely verbal or social. In North Africa, assaults on Christians are literal.

However even within the face of mortal hazard, North African believers are searching for to stay out their religion with integrity and win over their neighbors in love.

“[They] see our belief system [and] our Christian worldview through our actions. That’s one thing that the persecuted Church around the world has understood that maybe Westerners haven’t.”

Misperception #4 — Schooling is broadly obtainable, so studying and writing is at all times related to how we share the Gospel.

One other fantasy is that connecting North Africans to God’s Phrase requires literacy.

Nevertheless, Wiens factors out, “Many in the world are still oral tradition or haven’t had education, haven’t learned to read or write. Yet, [they] still should have the opportunity of discipleship and growing in their faith and leading house churches, leading their Church.”

Misperception #5 — North Africa shouldn’t be as technologically superior as America/the West.

Lastly, Wiens says, “One other misperception perhaps is that America is probably the most superior nation on this planet. Some folks assume that folks [in North Africa] are nonetheless dwelling in tents or touring with camels, that type of factor. But, many locations are extra superior than we’re when it comes to know-how and social media engagement.

“Even in America, [we need to] change this perception of us being more advanced or more developed. They may be different, but they’re still very developed in terms of using technology and using it for witnessing.”

Sudanese Pastor Philemon Hassan wiped away tears as he sang a prayer for peace in Sudan in a particular version of SAT-7 worship present “Keep on Singing”. (Photograph, caption courtesy of SAT-7)

SAT-7’s function in North Africa

As a broadcast ministry within the MENA area, SAT-7 is run by native believers who’re obsessed with spreading Jesus’ identify on the air. They work with and assist the North African Church and are seeing folks come to Christ.

 “SAT-7 isn’t an American or Western ministry. It’s based in the Middle East. It started in the Middle East…. So we’re very much for empowering the Church that’s ready there.”

As a result of they’re a satellite tv for pc TV ministry, SAT-7 can bypass plenty of the blocks set as much as forestall the Church from assembly in closed North African international locations, and so they can minister significantly to oral and visible learners.

“We’re looking very seriously at issues of orality,” Wiens says. “How can we deliver discipleship programming so folks could be discipled, develop of their religion, and lead their home church?

“To show on screen the joy somebody has when they worship in church services, that joy expression on somebody’s face can be a tremendous witness.”

Your function in North Africa

(Photograph courtesy of SAT-7 Arabic)

Sure, you’ve gotten a job to play in missions in North Africa. If you happen to or your church is touring to the Center East the place SAT-7 is predicated, SAT-7 desires to listen to from you and perhaps even associate!

“We have studios there. We have contacts in many of the countries to connect with,” Wiens says. “We complement conventional fashions of ministry. It isn’t one or the opposite, however we are able to all work collectively.

“So look at how your giftedness might match a need that SAT-7 has and we could definitely have a collaborative partnership!”

You can too join with SAT-7 on social media right here!

And, pray. SAT-7 has per week of prayer developing October 20-27. Please be a part of them in praying for the Gospel of Jesus to permeate North Africa, and for the native Church to flourish.



Header picture courtesy of SAT-7.

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