You know, today is the Feast of the Assumption. Mary said “yes” to God’s will despite having every reason not to. This man also said yes despite having every reason not to. I pray I would be as brave as Slimane Bouhafs, an Algerian man who wwas sentenced to five years in prison for professing the light of Christ.
When we think of Christian persecution, we too often think of togas and lions but the fact is that never have Christians been more persecuted than now. Never has it been more dangerous to profess Christ’s love.
An Algerian Christian man has been sentenced to five whole years in prison after making alleged “blasphemous statements” online about Islam and Prophet Muhammad.
Slimane Bouhafs, who is 49 years old, converted to Christianity almost 20 years ago. He was arrested earlier in July for posting on his Facebook account that the light of Jesus will be able to outshine Islam and its main prophet. He also published photos of persons being executed by Islamic radicals.
On August 7, he appeared before a judge in the nearby town of Setif in Algeria’s Kabylie region. He was accompanied by his son, Larbi, who is 27 years old.
“The court sentenced my father to the maximum sentence! I qualify the crime of opinion matter, because my father was expressing his ideas and spread his political views on social networks as it has always done elsewhere. It is an attack on freedom of expression because, in my opinion, everything is subject to criticism, even religions,” Larbi Bouhafs said.
The Constitution of Algeria states that authorities have the privilege to assess and judge allegations of blasphemy against Islam, which is the country’s state religion. If it is decided that the act made by the person was blasphemous, the person can be forced to pay a hefty fine and/or face a penalty of three to five years in prison.
Pray for the persecuted. Don’t just feel sorry for them. Don’t just hope it won’t happen here. Pray.