Christians in Tunisia pray for return to spiritual roots
    June 25 2013 by William Bagsby, International Mission Board

    TUNISIA – Carthage, Tunisia, was once one of the most influential cities for Christianity, and where the canon of the New Testament was accepted. But various wars and conquests eventually pushed Christianity aside in Tunisia and throughout northern Africa and the Middle East.
     
    The people pushed leader Ben Ali out of the country in January 2011, bringing a revived hope and excitement for the country. Two years later, civil unrest continues and hopes are increasingly dimming.
     
    Ryan Bergman*, a Christian worker in Tunisia, said, “People want to leave because they do not see hope here and have unrealistic ideas of what life would look like in the outside world.”
     
    Unemployment has yet to improve in Tunisia, and as inflation continues to rise, Tunisian’s newfound freedom provides less contentment than desired.
    06-25-13tunisia.jpg

    IMB photo
    Local artists erected this monument in Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia, in memory of Mohamed Bouazizi. The self-immolation of Bouazizi, a local fruit seller, in protest of corruption set off demands for change in Tunisia and sparked subsequent revolutions there and beyond.

     
    Henry Wolfe*, another Christian worker in Tunisia, said, “The problems in Tunisia are that the best and brightest do everything they can to leave and go somewhere else, most planning never to return.”
     
    As despondency continues to spread in Tunisia, opportunities have presented themselves to spread a different message of freedom and hope. The story that was once accepted as divinely inspired in Carthage has reawakened in the uncertainty of the Arab Spring.
     
    In Tunisia, Ryan Bergman said, he and his wife have been able to share more openly with neighbors.
     
    “This is a great time to be in Tunisia,” he said. “It is still easy to meet new people and some of them want to talk about topics of importance — how to find a job, how to have a better marriage, how to know God in a personal way.”
     
    Wolfe, elsewhere in Tunisia, said, “There are not very many believers here. I may be the only person who has the ability to share the good news with them.”
     
    The struggle for new believers is that they live in isolation, he said.
     
    “Believers need a lot of encouragement and aren’t getting that,” Wolfe said. “I’m praying that the religious fervor that once was would sweep over Tunisia.”
     
    *Names changed for security reasons.
    6/25/2013 3:25:40 PM by William Bagsby, International Mission Board | with 1 comments
    Filed under: Christianity, IMB, Tunisia




Comments
Gil
All major religions have the same origin, come from the same god. They are all waiting for some guy to come or return. Some are waiting for Krishna to come back, others are waiting for the Messiah, more are waiting for Maitreya Buddha, even others are awaiting the Imam Mahdi and last but not least some are waiting for Christ to come back. All descriptions are similar in that the time described for the appearance is around now. Once he will be here, will they all realize that they were all waiting for the same guy or will they find a new reason to argue over what name he should be called?
6/25/2013 6:41:07 PM

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