Persecuted Christians in North Africa receive smuggled Bibles
Constant prayer has helped Christians to smuggle in Bibles and training materials for pastors in a North African country where believers face persecution.
According to persecution charity Open Doors, a 24/7 prayer meeting has been running constantly in the country, which cannot be identified for security reasons, since 2003. Local Christians believe they have seen miracles as a result of the constant stream of prayer.
UK volunteer Holly (name has been changed) recently took more than 30 Bibles and other Christian books into the country, where it is illegal to print Christian literature.
"There are church leaders who only have a few pages of scripture that they own," she said. "The church is growing so rapidly and people are just coming to know Jesus so quickly, they need to get Bibles in as quickly as they can and as many as they can. And not just Bibles, but also training materials for pastors and church leaders."
The materials would have been confiscated if found by officials, but airport security checked every single bag except Holly's.
"Maybe God just did what he did with Brother Andrew and 'blinded their eyes' to it. It was amazing that we were the only ones who didn't get searched," she said.
If local people are found with the Bibles, they face at least two years in prison. But when Holly handed the Bibles over to Open Doors' partners, they weren't fazed.
"They were telling us that when they take the materials backs to their churches and to whoever needs these books, they have to go through 20 checkpoints, and at every single checkpoint they could be searched. The whole car can be searched; they might look inside the boot, under the bonnet, even cut open the spare tire if there's one in the back and look inside it to see if there's anything illegal in there. But it was amazing because [the Open Doors partners] said, 'We can keep the Bibles on the back seat of the car, they'll just never see them'," Holly said.
"They said it was because, in 2003, they started a 24/7 prayer meeting. It was meant to only last for a week, but then they decided to just not stop! And so since 2003 there's never been a single moment where there hasn't been someone praying in that church, every second is covered in prayer.
"That's when they started seeing lots of people coming to know Jesus, and they were able to bring in so many more Bibles and training materials."
Open Doors was founded by Brother Andrew, a Christian missionary who smuggled Bibles into communist countries at the height of the Cold War.