There are 22,800 Christians in Tunisia, making them a tiny 0.2% minority. Most of the country’s 12 million people are Muslim.
What does persecution look like in Tunisia?
For many Christians in Tunisia, the pressure they face is widespread and constant. While expatriate Christians are largely left alone, for Tunisian believers, pressure is high in every aspect, and the unseen difficulties of following Jesus in Tunisia impact believers around the North African nation. The situation is particularly dire for Christians who have converted from Islam. They face hostility and abuse from their families and their surrounding community. It can be dangerous to share their faith; many of them are forced to worship Jesus secretly. They must be careful when gathering for worship because exposure would endanger them, as they are monitored by Tunisian security services.
Converts from Islam to Christianity are most at risk, due to pressure, abuse and threats from their family and the society around them. Southern Tunisia tends to be more conservative (and is an area where violent Islamic militias are active), so the risk is greatest in this region. Urban areas, particularly the capital city Tunis, tend to be more tolerant of Christians and even converts from Islam
A Christian woman in North Africa
“Women face rejection by their family and society. They can be kept under house arrest by their families. Many are not allowed to go to church or meet with Christians. They face opposition when they want to marry a Christian man. Family puts a lot of pressure on them to follow all Muslim traditions and to renounce their faith in Jesus. Some women are sent away by their families, they had to be rescued by the church.”Nélya
What has changed compared to last year?
Pressure remains at a high level for Christians in Tunisia. Though not much has changed, things have not necessarily improved. Christians everywhere in the country are still at risk of persecution, and Christians who came from Islam continue to bear immense pressure. Additionally, the country is currently amid a political crisis. President Kais Saied dissolved parliament in August 2021 and dismissed the prime minister, leading many observers to note it seems he's consolidating power. But no one is yet sure what this will mean for the Christian population if anything.
In cooperation with local partners and churches, Open Doors is supporting the church in Tunisia through discipleship training, literature distribution, socio-economic development, worldwide prayer support and advocacy.
- Please pray for Christians in Tunisia who have converted from Islam. Ask God to preserve and protect them, and ask Him to encourage them, even when they must follow Him in secret.
- Pray for the Tunisian government and society as political turmoil continues. Pray God will prick the heart of those in authority, that they will seek the good of all people, including religious minorities, and pray the people will be protected from instability.
- Pray for Open Doors partners in Tunisia, that they'd be encouraged and strengthened to continue doing God's work in a difficult place.
Dear God, our Father and our Lord, we ask You to remember Your people in Tunisia. We pray You will remind them they aren't alone—that You are with them, and that we are with them. Please help them persevere, even when they feel like it's impossible. We ask that You protect them and strengthen their faith. In Jesus' powerful name, Amen.