Tunisia (MNN) — Tunisian President Kais Saied has announced a “national dialogue” to resolve a political crisis. President Saied dissolved parliament in March and recently seized control of the independent electoral commission. Tunisia had emerged from the 2011 Arab Spring as a democracy, shedding a dictatorship.

We spoke to a Tunisian Christian who lives outside the country. For security reasons, we will change his name to Joe. He says,  “I was arrested many times, along with other believers, before 2011. And we faced harsh treatment by one or two people or police, but persecution is not the policy of the government.”

Joe himself had to flee the country after receiving threats, not from the government, but from a radical group in Tunisia.

State of the Tunisian Church

The Church in Tunisia does have one big problem: division. Joe says, “It is sad for 20 people, Christians in one place and in one state, to be divided into five churches. Or for five people in another community to be divided three ways between denominations because they met certain missionaries.

“So they attend the Baptist Church or a charismatic church or the Nazarene church or the Anglican way.”

Pray for unity among Tunisian believers. They all come from a Muslim background and already face isolation from their families. Plus, this is a small community. Joe says, “The number of Tunisian believers is more than 500 known believers, and a few thousand seekers.”

Social isolation

Joe talks about the social pressure Christians face. “They don’t hire you because you’re a Christian, or they force you to marry a Muslim man if you’re a woman in country areas where people are more conservative in an Islamic way. Some people mock you in the neighborhood. They say things bad things about your kids, wife, or husband.”

Still, most Tunisian Christians find their faith and love for Jesus strengthened when they face resistance. Ask the Holy Spirit to comfort them.

The header photo shows Tunisian President Kais Saied (pictured right) having a meeting in 2021. (Photo courtesy of Υπουργείο Εξωτερικών, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)