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This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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In The News: Christians Get Suspended Jail Terms for Converting Muslims in Algeria

inthenews

Four Algerian Christians accused of converting Muslims were each handed suspended jail sentences and fined Tuesday, according to reports.

The sentence is the latest to spark ire in the West, where Christian groups accuse the Algerian government of harassing Christians. The Higher Islamic Council, a state-appointed group, claims that Protestant evangelicals are secretly trying to divide Algerians for colonization, Reuters reported.

The four Christians, who admitted to converting to Christianity but contest the charges, said they planned to appeal the ruling.

“The verdict confirms an attitude of lack of respect for freedom of conscience,” defense lawyer Khelloudja Khalfoun, told Reuters.

A law passed in 2006 forbids non-Muslims from trying to convert Muslims and confines religious worship only to buildings approved by the state, according to the BBC. Under the law, more than a dozen churches have been closed in the past six months.

There are about 10,000 Christians in Algeria, the BBC reported.

FOXNews.com

Analysis:

We live in a country where religious freedom has long been respected. In fact, it is one of the founding principles of our society.

Such religious liberty is to be desired, and certainly is in keeping with the spirit of scripture. That is, as long as it is understood in its proper context. God expects men to obey Him. He even requires it in the sense that disobedience brings consequence. “He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).

While God certainly requires obedience to gain His favor, He does not compel it. Men are called by the gospel, (cf. Romans 1:16), and have free will to accept it to salvation, or reject it to future condemnation.

Here is a fundamental difference between the truth revealed in the Christian faith, and the false religion of Islam. Where true Christianity depends upon persuasion to bring redemption, Islam would compel through carnal means. (Note: False expressions of Christianity have done the same in the past).

In our country, Muslims ask for religious tolerance. While it is America’s way to offer such tolerance, rest assured that such accommodations would not be made were Muslims in control of our government. The preceding article regarding the persecution of Algerians is one of many evidences which could be supplied to establish the truthfulness of this contention.

While it is proper for the American government to continue religious tolerance, it is a mistake for the American people to believe one religion is as valid and true as another. There is one religion that has its genesis from God, and one Savior for mankind, Jesus Christ. (cf. John 14:6).