Clad in traditional clothing, speaking the local Tunisian dialect and reading from an Arabic Bible, a local believer changes the perception of Jesus-followers in Tunisia.
(First published May 23, 2016)
-I want to show them that you can be a Tunisian and still be a follower of Jesus. That you do not betray your culture by following Jesus, says Moussa.
-North Africa was one of the first regions that historically received Christ, and some of the first church fathers were from Algeria and other North African countries.
Moussa hopes the 3-minute program segments that are also posted to Facebook, will help change Tunisians perception of Christianity.
By using tribal clothing, he wants to remind his countrymen that Christianity came to their region at the same time as it came to Rome and Europe, and is not a western religion. This is underscored by a second point, that the Bible is available in Arabic with relevant teachings for today. He says that many Tunisians are surprised when they hear the Bible read in Arabic, as to them it is a western book for a Western religion. And thirdly, to show that there is a living community of followers of Jesus from Tunisian background, which is something many Tunisians are not aware of.
– We have heard from viewers who said they saw the segments and went on to watch more in-depth programs about the teachings of Christ, to then become followers of Jesus. Many are also quite shocked to discover that there are followers of Jesus from their own culture in their country.
Moussa became the first Jesus follower in his family after he went to a foreign country to study in the 70’s. Here he was introduced to the gospel, and a new life journey started for him.
In 1974 he traveled to Sweden as a student. After a short while, he ran out of money, and had no place to stay. Close to midnight, he wandered aimlessly around Stockholm, looking for a place to sleep.
-In a dark alley, I suddenly meet a very old lady who looks like she must be at least a hundred years old. I ask if she knows of a place where I can sleep, and she jots down an address on a piece of paper for me. I knock on the door of the address, and someone leads me in and offers me a bed. The next morning a young man from Morocco can tell me that I am in a hostel run by a church. If I had known it was a church, I would never have knocked on the door. This is where my new life journey started.
Moussa remained at the churn for another three months where he studied the Bible while working at the hostel. He eventually married and had a family. Together they moved to Tunisia where they ran a tent ministry before returning to Sweden a decade later.
-When we came to Tunisia, there were only 10 known believers from indigenous background among a population of 8 million people. Today there are about 500 indigenous believers, he says. ( a number confirmed by other sources).
He admits that communicating with a large audience through television can be a solitary experience, but he does get feedback from viewers.
One of the stories involves a young man living with his mother.
Both of them were Salafists, a fundamentalist group of Islamists. The young man was active on his computer, where he also watched video clips and TV-programs. Here he had come across some Christian programs that had stirred interest. One night as the young man was sleeping, he woke up by a voice that said to him:
“Stand up and open your heart.” The voice was so real that he got scared and woke up his mother, who sent him back to bed. For a second time that night he heard the same voice say, “Stand up and open your heart.” This time, his mother said he should do whatever he did before going to bed that night. He turned on his computer where he had been watching Miracle Channel earlier in the evening. He turned it on just in time to hear Moussa sign off for the night with the words: “Stand up and open your heart to Christ.”
-This young man contacted me. He became a strong believer. Today he is a fervent evangelist, says Moussa.
-There are now several thousand new atheists in Tunisia, and the same is occurring in Egypt. After the Arab spring, more people started using the internet and were alarmed by what they discovered was happening in other Arab countries. But even if they call themselves atheists, many are still searching for spiritual truth.
Miracle Connect broadcasts the gospel 24 hours a day to the Arab world over NileSat. This means that for people in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria and Egypt, the gospel is just a flickr away on the remote control. Through social media we are also connecting and interacting with thousands of viewers in closed nations. If you think it is important to give Arab people a chance to hear the life changing message of Jesus Christ, please support this ministry with a gift today.