World Watch List: 34
Leader: President Kais Saied
Population: 11.78 million
Main Religion: Islam
Source of Persecution: Islamic Oppression
In cooperation with local churches and partners, Open Doors supports the persecuted church in Tunisia through:
- Bible and Christian literature distribution
- Socio-economic development
“He said take all your clothes and leave the house. I do not want to see you again. I will go to the authorities and remove your name from my family. My father told my boss to stop employing me because of my faith.”
– Nadhir (pseudonym), a Tunisian Christian
Source of persecution: Islamic oppression
Their worst persecutor – family
Tunisian society is increasingly feeling the influence of Islamist movements and Islamic militants. However, it is the families, friends, and neighbours of Tunisian Christians that persecute them the most.
All Tunisian believers come from Muslim backgrounds, and will often keep their faith hidden. Their Muslim families feel betrayed and abandoned and thus apply great pressure on converts to recant their new faith. If and when their faith is discovered, they are likely to lose their jobs, be rejected by family and friends, and face verbal and physical abuse. Several Christians, especially females, had to relocate to another town or city because of the pressure and threats from their families. Some were also sexually abused. The situation is worse in conservative areas in the south; urban areas, especially in the capital Tunis, are relatively safer as they are away from their families.
Messages and calls intercepted
Christians report that their messages and calls are often monitored and intercepted. The police sometimes detains and questions believers about their activities and possession of Christian literature, accusing them of proselytization. To avoid drawing unwanted attention, believers do not gather together regularly.
- For converts who have lost their jobs and unable to attend school after their faith was discovered. Pray that God will supply their needs and may they trust fully in Him.
- That believers have the strength and grace to show Christ’s love to their family members that persecuted them, and that God will turn their families’ hearts of stone into hearts of flesh.
- That those who are unable to meet other Christians often for fellowship will be able to find opportunities to do so in this new year.