To view yesterday’s account of Erin’s trip click here. Come back tomorrow to view more pictures and read additional stories of Erin’s experience in North Africa.
Erin Home From North Africa, Part 3
What is it like to be a Christian in a Muslim dominated society?
One young boy I treated was still suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder, years after he was repeatedly beaten by his “friends.” The cause of the beatings? He was an Christian.
Muslim wives are to be totally dependent and obedient to their husbands. Men can marry up to four women if they can support them. Throughout most of North Africa Muslim women are required by law to wear a burqa headdresses. This of course makes it easy to spot a Christian woman. An uncovered head frequently serves as a target for beatings.
There are often guardhouses or towers beside Christian church entrances and armed guards are placed inside the churches for the “safety” of the worshipers. Christian congregations must submit petitions for any building, repair or renovation of church buildings to the government. All such work depends on government approval. Churches still often are required to shut their blinds to the outside during worship time so as not to “offend” anyone outside from hearing the Christian word being preached.
Christians in North Africa are forbidden from speaking of their faith to any Muslim for fear of being put into prison. However, Muslims are more than welcome to share their faith openly to anyone they want to. Great bureaucratic hurdles must be overcome to build a church or even to replace a pane of glass or repair a toilet. The government can and routinely does obstruct church life by refusing or delaying permission for the building and repair of churches.
Muslims account for 90% of the population in North Africa.
About MikeMike, 49, grew up in California and spent 38 years of his life there. He received an undergraduate degree in Political Science, graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary and is pursuing a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary. Before accepting God’s call to fulltime missions, Mike worked in the California State Senate for 12 years. He became a Christian at the age of 20. Mike was a Ruling Elder at Soaring Oaks Presbyterian Church(PCA) for seven years. While at Soaring Oaks, Mike served as the Director of the High School Youth Group, Sunday school teacher, and instructor of evangelism. His cross-cultural missions experience includes five short term trips to Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Peru (Lima and Cusco) through Mission to the World (MTW). He has volunteered with World Relief by teaching and counseling international refugees. Mike has also attended cross-cultural church planting conferences in New York and Orlando and completed the Perspectives course on the World Christian Movement. He attended Bible Study Fellowship for two years. He is a certified instructor through Evangelism Explosion and is a certified trainer of the Darkness to Light child sexual abuse prevention program. He completed MTW‘s Disaster Response Training. Mike is an experienced speaker and author. Over 70 of Mike's articles on missions have been published and he has written three books. He is a trained and experienced mentor, discipler, leader and a passionate teacher of small groups and Bible studies. Mike received an undergraduate degree in Political Science, graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary and is currently pursuing a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary. Before accepting God’s call to fulltime missions, Mike was a Ruling Elder, Youth Group Leader, adult Sunday school teacher and evangelism instructor at Soaring Oaks Presbyterian Church in Elk Grove, CA. Mike is an experienced speaker and author. Over 70 of Mike's articles on missions have been published and he has written three books. He is a trained and experienced mentor, discipler, leader and a passionate teacher of small groups and Bible studies. From 2007 to 2017 Mike served as a fulltime missionary for MTW. Mike served as Team Leader, Church Planter, and Seminary Professor. Mike and his wife Erin served in Honduras in Central America and Equatorial Guinea in Central Africa. Mike currently serves as the Director of the MTW West Coast Hub where he trains and mentors new missionaries from CA, AZ, & NV. Mike is also busy writing his next book.
Mike Pettengill: Today I am in West Jordan, UT attending the Northern California Presbytery meeting representing @mtwglobal & talkin… https://t.co/aoBXGKG8bf
Mike Pettengill: Early bird registration ends TODAY for the @mtwglobal Witness: West Coast Missions Conference. The conference will… https://t.co/yPh06jV5b8
Mike Pettengill: Spending time with my fathers & brothers today in Glendale, CA at the Pacific Presbytery meeting. Representing… https://t.co/MamhU4vDzx
Mike Pettengill: Due to high levels of interest, we are excited to extend the deadline to register for Disaster Response Training up… https://t.co/RjZAGYTjRo