FREED FROM HATE TO WITNESS AND LOVE HIS ENEMY
By the power of God’s love, Abdel-Nour was delivered from the dark valley of hatred to the mountain of faith, light, and love. On the SAT-7 ARABIC program Free Souls, which is produced in Algeria, he shares his testimony of how meeting Jesus Christ let him taste freedom and experience salvation.
“Previously, hate for Arabs filled my heart. Today, hate is replaced by love. Christ has radically changed my life. God loves us as we are, regardless of our nationality and language,” says Abdel-Nour, an Amazigh (Berber) man from Algeria.
Abdel-Nour spent his childhood and most of his adult life carrying hatred. Growing up amid political turmoil, he witnessed violence and humiliation from the Arab rulers of the country against the Amazigh tribes. His brother was beaten for writing in the Amazigh language, and his mother burned his brother’s documents in fear for his life.
Seeing all this, another fire – one of hatred – was kindled in Abdel-Nour’s heart. “I was a racist,” he says. “I disliked Arabs, detested, and hated them.” He fought left and right against the Arabic language forced upon him. “At school, my marks were not good in Arabic because I hated it, so I dropped out of school. At home, when I saw my sisters watching films in Arabic, I turned off the TV,” Abdel-Nour remembers.
But God’s grace had other plans for him: to be a light and witness to others. After Abdel-Nour met some people from a local church, things began to change.
“They did not stop talking about Jesus Christ. I was a curious person, so I went with them to the church. I felt joy flooding my heart, but I did not realise who Jesus Christ was. Later, over time, I believed in Him,” he shares. Abdel-Nour had found God’s love, which had been missing in his life since he was taught in school that God was cruel and severe.
“Verses such as ‘Love your enemies’ [Matthew 5:44] and ‘If I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing’ [1 Corinthians 13:1] had a big impact on me. I loved and meditated on the word of God, and this strengthened my faith, so I accepted Christ as the Saviour and Lord of my life,” he says.
Abdel-Nour was baptised, and over time, the Holy Spirit worked to change his heart.
“I began to love hymns in Arabic, a language that I hated before. God urged me to love what I used to hate,” he shares. His family noticed the change in him and showed interest, too. His father believed in Christ when he read the Bible Abdel-Nour brought home from church.
“Today I say that we are all brothers, whether Berbers or Arabs,” he declares. “When you believe in the God of love, He will fill you with His love and bless you. God changed the way I dealt with Arabs. We differ only in terms of teachings. I also have Arab friends.”
A large percentage of Algeria’s 42.23 million population live in rural areas. Many Algerians, like Abdel-Nour, only learn about Jesus from Christians they meet by chance, because churches are scarce and have faced government opposition or closure.
Free Souls, presents testimonies of people whose lives were changed when they met the Lord. Along with several other Algerian-dialect programs, Free Souls supports the Church in North Africa and provides them opportunity to witness to Jesus Christ.