Conversion Breaks Out in Hostile Lands Because of Direct Intervention from Christ

Conversion of st paul

Conversion of St Paul on the road to Damascus

The age of miracles is not over. I’ve personally encountered the story of one young woman from India who had Jesus come to her in a vision. This young woman had never heard of Jesus before he visited her. She is now a missionary in India.

Stories of Jesus appearing to people in parts of the world which are most hostile to Christianity keep coming.

From Charisma News:

A Christian revival is touching the northernmost reaches of Africa. In a region once hostile to the gospel, now tens of thousands of Muslims are following Jesus.

As the sun sets over the Mediterranean Sea, Muslims across Northern Africa are converting to faith in Jesus Christ in record numbers.

“What God is doing in North Africa, all the way from actually Mauritanian to Libya is unprecedented in the history of missions” said Tino Qahoush, a graduate of Regent University and filmmaker. He has spent years traveling the region to document the transformation.

“I have the privilege of recording testimonies and listening to firsthand stories of men and women, of all ages where they can be sitting in a room and see the appearance and the presence of God appear to them in reality, like a vision, some of them gave me stories of how they carry on a conversation, it’s not just a light that appears” adds Qahoush. He also says sometimes he feels jealous, “how come Jesus is visiting the Muslim world at this time and age and we don’t hear that happening in the traditional Christian community.”

His interviews confirm what experts say is a profound move of God in the predominantly Muslim nations of Mauritania, Western Sahara, Morocco, Algeria, Libya and Tunisia.

From the shores of Casablanca in Morocco to Tripoli, Libya, experts say the growth of Christianity, especially in the last 20 years, has been unprecedented. And now that growth is also evident in the North African nation of Algeria.

Pastor Salah leads one of the largest churches in Algeria. Some 1,200 believers attend the church, and 99 percent of the population is Muslim.

“In fact we never thought the Algerian church would grow so big” says Salah. He says every new Christian in his church came from a Muslim background. Since the church opened, they have baptized on average 150-160 believers per year.”

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  • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

    Islam committed suicide in Algeria because of the unimaginably horrible civil war launched by the local extremists against the military government in the nineties. The number of dead is in six figures, nearly all civilian, most of them women and children, and the circumstances are such as I refuse to describe. If the monsters who managed this war had had the clear intention to strip the image of Islam of any sense of goodness, decency, morality, or holiness, they could not have done more than they did. Christianity is spreading in part thanks to that, as it is in Iran for much the same reasons. It is less easy to be sure why it is advancing in Morocco (a comparatively moderate and decent society ruled by a direct descendant of the founder of Islam), in Mauretania, or in Libya. I have an idea, which is only really a guess. In black Africa, Christianity only really took off after the end of colonial rule, not only because the colonial masters were no longer there to be identified with it, but also because the whole of African society was now faced with dealing with the rest of the world with no boss and no protection, and Christianity was one of the ways in which they dealt with it. Now the countries of north-west Africa have been subjected to Western influence in a more profound and penetrating way than any other African country. Before the disaster of two years ago, Tripoli and the other cities of Libya were recognizably Italian, save for the mosques, and it is said that the best French in the world is written in Algeria. Colonial influence lasted long and went deep, even though it was rejected in the sixties, when the French and Italian minorities were bodily expelled from Algeria and Libya (and from Egypt too). Now, in some way or other, Christianity is beginning to have the role in NW Africa that it has already gained south of the Sahara, of an element of civilization, social cohesion, and conscious dealing with the world; while Islam is beginning to feel like the pagan religions of black Africa do to most Africans today, as something local, backward, provincial, folkloric, and socially harmful, associated with superstition, Big Man politics, and incapacity to live in the real world.

    • Steve

      Your bit about Algerian Islam comitting suicide reminded me of
      something. I’m not an expert of European cultures by any means, but
      didn’t a similar thing happen with Irish Christianity? Used to be one of
      the most devoutly Christian countries in the world, now it’s not even
      close after a brutal war that was largely Catholic on one side and
      Protestant on the other. Do you think that this is a valid comparision?

      If they are similar, then it serves as a pretty grave lesson to Catholics,
      and all other religions, about how this kind of violence and corruption
      can drive people away from just about anything.

      • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

        If you want my view on this subject, my view is that you are both right and wrong. You grossly overrate the horror of the North Irish “troubles”, which frankly are not even comparable to what Islam did to its own – without even the reality of a sectarian divide – across the face of Algeria. The “troubles” lasted for three decades and cost less that 2000 lives; the Algerian civil war is not yet quite over – and may never be – and as I said, its victims are in six figures. Can you imagine for a half-second the monsters of the Salafist front sending a ten-minute warning to clear a place they were going to bomb? That was standard IRA practice, except for when they were striking at strategic targets such as Lord Mountbatten or Margaret Thatcher. And conversely, the amount of evil memories in Catholic Ireland, assuaged in the south but not in the north by independence, is totally incomparable with any grievance the Salafists may have suffered – which boiled down to one stolen election.

        I don’t think most people really understand what the three centuries of English Protestant rule over Catholic Ireland amount to. Already in the time of Elizabeth I – a female crocodile who devoured her enemies and then cried over them – her envoy, the poet Spenser, had suggested total genocide as the solution of the Irish problem. And don’t think they didn’t try. By the time of Cromwell, about half the Irish population had been slaughtered. Then corruption saved the rest, who were able to pay their butchers to leave them land the English too few to settle and too chaotic to govern. (Let us remember that between 1645 and 1745, England and Scotland suffered a couple of civil wars, two coups d’etat, and one successful Dutch invasion – shamelessly called the “Glorious Revolution”. For about a century, England and Scotland proved incapable of governing themselves.) And it might interest you that America also suffered greatly and enduringly for the English policy of Irish extermination which lay the groundwork for the worst evil the Colonies and their successors were to suffer. Not many people that the first slaves taken to the English colonies of the New World were not black but Irish. Ancient principle said that no Christian could enslave another Christian, which meant that slavery was effectively abolished in Europe, except in border areas. Slavery started growing when Europe expanded the reach of its trade and power across the world. But the English had never dealt in slaves – not because they were too good for them, but because Portuguese and Dutch shut them out of the market – until the Irish wars, when they conveniently decided that Irish Catholics were not Christian. Tens of thousand of them were taken to the West Indies and the Thirteen Colonies in circumstances of the most horrible brutality; and so the English merchants became practised in selling men – with the State’s blessing. The philosopher Locke, the hypocritical theorist of liberty (for anyone but Catholics), was Secretary of State for the Carolina colonies and directly responsible for fostering slavery in what became the hard core of the slave South. This evil, too, begins with the brutal treatment of the Irish by the English. And then we have the horrors of 1798, and finally and most hideously of all, the deliberate decision of the English Whig government to allow the potato famine to destroy Ireland literally from the roots. As the surviving Irish used to say, God made the blight, but the English made the famine. And what proves it is that, in spite of the fact that the blight spread across the face of Europe, it was only the richest country in Europe and in the world at the time that suffered mass starvation in one of its provinces.

        These memories cannot be deleted: they are set in the landscape. And that is why a minority of Irish will never regard any kind of British presence in Ireland as anything but an abomination. Sure, they are obsessional. Sure, they are fanatical. Sure, they commit or support murder. But don’t tell me that there is no reason for their obsession. If American can be motivated by wars that took place two or three centuries ago, who should say that the Irish should not be motivated by the horrors of their past?

        Finally, and in spite of the ultimately confessional nature of the ethnic split in the North, nobody in Ireland regards Sinn Fein as anything to do with the Church or with Catholicism. Everyone knows them for what they are, a bunch of Marxist ideologues. If you look at their leaders, they even look the part: Adams, the smooth “intellectual” justifying horrors and oppression, and McGuinness, the hard man with no disguise. Every Communist party in the world had two like them. If the violence in the North had discredited its protagonists, it would be the atheist Irish left that would have declined. And as a matter of fact it is the opposite that happened: Sinn Fein became not only the default representative of the Northern Catholics, but spread to the Irish Republic, and now have representatives in the Dail, where they push a hard-left political line. Other hard-left parties rooted in similar terrorist traditions are also doing well.

        You are, however, quite right that the Irish Church has committed suicide. In my view, this extraordinary phenomenon should be looked at together with some similar stories that we see and are bewildered by, especially in Belgium and Quebec. The Irish Republic, Belgium and the Province of Quebec have this in common, that they are nations that owe their existence entirely and exclusively to the Catholic Church. The French colonists in the St.Lawrence valley were, when the British took them over, only a few tens of thousand, a tiny amount even as compared with the three million English colonists in North America. However, they clung steadfastly, over generations, to their Catholic identity, and had incredible numbers of babies – think of this: over two centuries, and without the benefit of immigration, the Quebec French grew from 80,000 to 6,000,000, while their home country, similar to them in speech and habits, only grew from thirty to fifty million, and that includes considerable immigration. By the same token, Ireland remained a distinct entity, however ground down and crushed, thanks to its steadfast loyalty to the Church; and Belgium refused at all costs to be annexated to the Netherlands, just because the Belgians, Flemish and Walloon, were Catholic, and most Dutch were not. These nations are singular in the centrality of Catholicism to their very existence.

        And yet these three nations have rejected Catholicism more thoroughly and radically than any other, except perhaps France – and I doubt it. Enda Kenny seems determined to punish the Church for something or other, the Belgian police desecrated the graves of dead archbishops for no good reason, and the Bloc Quebecois is pursuing a policy of literal national suicide – pushing for abortion and euthanasia to an extent that bewilders even other Canadian politicians, and that is literally insane for a nation of a few million still and for ever stranded in an ocean of English language – for no other reason than that it is against Catholicism.

        What you would get, I think, if you asked a Quebecker or an Irishman from the Republic why the Church has been so massively rejected by the national body, is something along the lines of, the Church has discredited itself by being corrupt to the bones; by being reactionary, retrograde, ignorant; by representing the worst of the country. And I think if you look there is something to this. Yes, the Church preserved Quebec and Eire, but at the price of expressing the mentality of a backward and oppressed minority. (I am not so clear about Belgium.) The Quebec Church was infamously reactionary and oppressive. In the eighteen-eighties, when Pope Leo XIII and the Church leadership in the USA and much of Europe were busy trying to deal with the rising labour movement and encouraging it to take Catholic shapes, the hierarchies were horrified to hear that the Archbishop of Quebec, off the top of his own head, had excommunicated every member of the Knigths of Labour across North America. The Archbishop of Baltimore, in the name of the Pope, forced him to back down, but this gives you an idea of the political interference, arrogance and reaction of the Quebec Catholics. As for what they looked like at home, the novelist Samuel Butler has written a “Psalm of Montreal” that needs to be read: http://diaspora.gen.nz/~maire/Philyra/poetry/anthology/poems/Butler_Montreal.html To give the full dimension of the thing Butler complained about, we must remember that the original of the statue his Montreal man hid away because it was vulgar is on display in the Vatican Museums, and Popes have taken delight in its beauty.

        This is the inevitable result of recruiting among, and representing, people who, not through their own fault, have been historically reduced to low peasantry, insular, ignorant, fearful of anything new and exotic, and with an underlying desperate machismo that makes up for a lack of confidence. Brutality festered within the Church – I used to know an Irishwoman who would literally shudder if I brought in the Catholic Church unexpectedly in conversation. You have heard of the Christian Brothers and other abuse scandals. Conan Doyle, who after all was Irish and from a Catholic background, was never more right than when he had his hero say that “the smiling and beautiful countryside… always fill[s] me with a certain horror. It is my belief, Watson, founded upon my experience, that the lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of sin… [And] the reason is very obvious. The pressure of public opinion can do in the town what the law cannot accomplish. There is no lane so vile that the scream of a tortured child, or the thud of a drunkard’s blow, does not beget sympathy and indignation among the neighbours, and then the whole machinery of justice is ever so close that a word of complaint can set it going, and there is but a step between the crime and the dock. But look at these lonely houses, each in its own fields, filled for the most part with poor ignorant folk who know little of the law. Think of the deeds of hellish cruelty, the hidden wickedness which may go on, year in, year out, in such places, and none the wiser.” The tone of the Sherlock Holmes stories is often rather sentimental, but in this terrible realism we recognize the experience of Ireland, especially the brutalized Ireland after the famine.

        What is more, this kind of purblind provinciality went with increasing and inevitable corruption. This became a major issue when Ireland as a whole ceased to be poor, and priests could deal not only with little local favours, but with the interests of businessmen and politicians. The Church became bound up with the State and a great power in the granting or withholding of favours. That is one thing that the Irish, in particular, will tell you quite a lot. One does not respect a priest who goes around in Gucci shoes and is known to have the right to hire and fire in public posts across half a county. And connection with the State also means that they become involved in the State’s crimes and fads. For instance, the Magdalene Laundries scandal, apart from being overblown and exaggerated – plenty of Magdaelene inmates have come forth to declare that they were neither abused nor humiliated and that they regard the nuns and the place with affection – is misdirected: the kind of practices that are now blasted by know-it-alls were in fact commonplace – indeed, part of the intellectual atmosphere – in state orphanages across Europe, and it just happened that in Ireland the management of disinherited childhood had been farmed out to the Church. But the same kind of thing could be found in Britain and France, to my certain knowledge, and probably elsewhere as well.

        What I keep coming back to is that in these countries – exactly because it preserved them from erasure when they had no other effective social leadership left, no middle class of any significance, no cultured aristocracy, nothing but a ground-down peasantry with no prospects – the Church in Quebec and Ireland expressed the social reality of a backward and ignorant people. You will find the same attitudes in the Hispanic world, in Germany, and to a lesser extent in France and Italy. And so, as the people began to leave behind the worst features of their past, there was an unfortunate, and not entirely ill-grounded, tendency to see the Church exactly as I described modern Africans feeling about their ancestral cults: “something local, backward, provincial, folkloric, and socially harmful, associated with superstition, Big Man politics, and incapacity to live in the real world”. To grow as a nation there was a feeling that the religious past must be left behind.

        The results, of course, are catastrophic. I already pointed out the literally suicidal obsessions of Bloc Quebecois, replicated point by point in Belgium. But I am not sure where salvation can come from. I know this: that the Church is the expression not only of the moral best, but also of the intellectual best, of our civilization. It is the religion and the ideology of Beethoven, of Shakespeare (yes it is!), and of huge proportions of all the best men and women in every field from advanced research to sports. I think that this is the dimension it must turn to to survive: the life of the mind and of the spirit. Looking backward to vanished Edens will not do it.

        • Steve

          Well that was a lot more informative than I expected.

          Anyways there was other countries I couldn’t help but think of when I read that.

          Is Poland in a similar situation to Ireland/Belgium/Quebec, or at risk for becoming that? A devoutly Catholic country, often downtrodden, persecuted and impoverished.

          Also, I know even less about Southeast Asian cultures than I do about European cultures, but I also thought of East Timor, maybe the Philippines to a lesser extent. East Timor is a very Catholic country that was -horribly- battered by the non-Catholic Indonesia (Muslim in this case). Very poor. Do you think that given enough time, East Timor could/would take the route of (to use an extremely imperfect analogy) an Asian Ireland?

          • http://mrsdbliss.blogspot.com/ MrsDBliss

            So your whole point is “look at the bad Catholics”?
            By the way it was the Irish REPUBLICAN Army. The clue was in the name as to what it was about.

            • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

              It must be nice to be so creative all your life that you are not capable of reading anything except creatively. When you have something to say that has the faintest closeness to anything I wrote, I will answer that. Meanwhile, enjoy yourself.

            • Steve

              Your post confuses me. I never had a point. I was asking a question. I was asking a question because I thought of things I do not understand. I made no point. Questions do not have a point, only statements do.

          • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

            History does not necessarily repeat itself. Circumstances in Poland were different; at no point in history was Poland reduced to a pulverized peasantry. Even during the period of oppression from the eighteenth century to WWI, Poland exported writers, musicians, scientists of the highest degree – you’ll have heard of Chopin, Sienkiewicz, Paderewski, Maria Sklodovska Curie, and so on. The Nazis had a good go at pulverizing Poland, but they only had four years to do so, and Poland survived. The Soviets did not actually intend to return Poland to the Iron Age, so much as to place an ideological seal on all her institutions, and so kept in place a Polish Army and Polish universities. None of these things can be said of Ireland, and fairly few of Quebec.

            It is however true that the triumph of the Church in Poland has caused what might turn out to be a dangerous drift towards clericalism. The Church is not at her best when triumphant in this world. An ugly indication of how things could go wrong (and why the former Communists occasionally win elections) came with a famous practical joke: a radio satirist imitated the voice of the famous priest who runs Radio Marija – a successful and unfortunately very reactionary Catholic broadcaster that has been condemned almost by name by Pope Benedict – and rang up a cabinet minister, asking for a free car. Lo and behold, within an hour a Mercedes was at the radio priest’s door.

            As for the Asian Catholics, I know little about East Timor apart from its heroic resistance against all odds, and I make no forecasts. But about the Philipines I can tell you one thing: like many other Asian countries, they are betting very heavily on technology, progress and education. You can hardly see Manila for all the universities – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_universities_and_colleges_in_Manila – and that is only the capital. Of course not all these institutions will be first-rate, but it shows which way the wind is blowing. And a lot of the most ancient and prestigious of these institutions are Catholic.

            • Almario Javier

              There is a bit of the “Quebec Syndrome” back home (see the debates about the State providing contraception and mandating education about it in the schools, and the recent scandal of some bishops being complicit in an embezzlement scheme with the officials of the national lottery [they were taking money that should have been going to education and spending it on SUVs – a luxury in the Philippines, where petrol is expensive). But I think that it might not be so bad, especially because the Church knows that this thing has come up, and it is still in its early stages. And they are trying to nip it in the bud.

              Also, there is the advantage in that the middle class, fostered by the Americans and not quite crushed by the Marcos dictatorship, is growing.

              • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

                Some degree of “Quebec syndrome” (very nice term, can I steal it?) is practically inevitable in all Catholic societies, just because they are Catholic – that is, universal; and therefore the Church tends to reflect the values and mental life of the lower classes at least as much as of the upper. Therefore, any group that regards itself as superior, socially or intellectually better, or more advanced, or more progressive, or morally exclusive, will always tend to treat the Church as a lower-class sort of thing. Here in Italy, the local Communists (who owe as much to local anti-clerical and Stoical attitudes looking back to ancient Rome, as to Marxism itself) coined the insulting definition “anthropologically different” for themselves, implying cultural superiority over the Catholic rabble. The point is however to what an extent the mask fits the face. In Italy, in the long term, it cannot. It is a peculiar country. Its founders are not politicians or soldiers – although we’ve had a good few we revere – but two writers. Italy was made by Dante, and re-made by Alessandro Manzoni, both devout Catholics whose religion was absolutely central to their art. Before Dante, the country had no common language but Latin, although she had been groping towards one for a century or more; after Dante, even in Dante’s lifetime, Dante’s Florentine was made one with the language of the country, and that is the act of birth of Italy as a nation. When, in the early nineteenth century, it became clear that the language – like all other Italian institutions – had become inadequate to the need of a modern country, and positively damaging, Alessandro Manzoni did the colossal work of reforming it – did it alone, and did it triumphantly, which is why his great novel “The Betrothed” can never work in another language as well as it does in Italian: the man was not only showing us things to think about, like any other great writer, but he was reforging the very language to think about them. Every Italian who can read and write owes his/her nationality and culture to these two giants. Add the immense heritage of music, painting, architecture, philosophy (Thomas Aquinas was Italian), monastic and fraternal movements, and you will see why the greatest of our anti-clerical, Stoic-minded writers, the philosopher Benedetto Croce, once admitted: “We can’t not call ourselves Christian” – Non possiamo non dirci Cristiani This is where my hope lies, and why, incidentally, I don’t count either Ireland or Quebec or Belgium – if they survive their current pathologies – as lost to the Faith. The Faith of Dante, Beethoven, Shakespeare and Thomas Aquinas is too great not to be, in the end, met with reverence.

                • Almario Javier

                  Go ahead, take it!

                  As for us, I would say that of our three major founders, only one, unfortunately, was a devout Catholic. Rizal was for most of his life caught up in anticlericalism and IIRC Freemasonry (sources are divided on whether he returned to his Faith prior to his execution. Rizal unfortunately saw the Church as an arm of the Spanish government, thus a foreign oppressor), and Aguinaldo had apostatized for much the same reasons as Rizal, but definitely never returned to the Faith (he died a Protestant). Aquino the Elder was, of course, a very devout Catholic, as was her late husband (sadly their children seem to not have picked up the devotion of their parents – one, the present President signed the laws mandating government distribution and education on contraception, largely after the devout mayors of the capital had refused to do so, while the other, a talk show host, while I appreciate her restaurant reviews, has a trainwreck of a private life) but she is more recent, and my inclusion of her would likely occasion controversy in certain circles.

                  Of course, Croce would find a kinship with Rizal – while he himself had negative feelings towards the Church, the religion in his writing was Catholic, definitely so, much though he loathed it in practice for much of his adult life.

                  • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

                    Rizal sounds more like Garibaldi than Croce. Garibaldi was an extraordinary man, to the extent that his encyclopedia entry is tagged simply “hero”. And that is not just in his public role as political and military leader (for which all his life he never claimed a pound). It is known that in his private life as a master mariner (the top grade of ship captain, the maritime equivalent of a PhD) he saved not less than twelve people from drowning. When he was leaving Europe in 1831, with a death sentence from his native Piedmont pursuing him, he heard that a cholera epidemic had broken out in Marseille; he went straight back and volunteered as a nurse. He was utterly fearless, disinterested, and had an almost supernatural capacity of inspiring people. And withal he was a sworn enemy of the Church. Garibaldi’s one major flaw was that he was unforgiving, hating enemies even beyond the grave, and he had led the resistance of rebellious Rome against overwhelming odds in 1849, which ended up with him hunted down like a wild beast by the forces of four armies, and watching his beautiful Brazilian common-law wife Anita die of fever and unable even to bury her in consecrated ground. You will admit that most people who hate the Pope have less cause. (The revolt of Rome had followed the Pope’s refusal to take part in Italy’s war of independence. The Pope chose his role as world leader of the Church over that of Italian head of state, and his subjects rejected him. The split between Italian state and Church lasted for generations.) But it was a tragedy, especially since Garibaldi exploded if someone dared to suggest he was not Christian.

                    • Almario Javier

                      I was not inclined to equate Rizal with Garibaldi, though, as Rizal was more an intellectual than a revolutionary hero. His death did help set the country ablaze, but that was more Aguinaldo or Bonifacio than anything else.

                      Like Garibaldi though, Rizal had legitimate gripes with the Church in the Philippines at the time – basically, since the beginning of the nineteenth century, if not earlier, the Spanish Government (which had considerable control over the Church in practice) essentially used the country as a dumping ground for the most backward of their clergy. This naturally did not endear them to the common people (though they did have their moments – when the Spaniards executed three parish priests on unfounded accusations of treason, the Archbishop of Manila protested – but my that time it was too late).

                      I will say that the Philippine experience would seem to show that Quebec need not have the Quebec Syndrome forever. At the time of the American conquest, the Church had a very tarnished reputation. The Americans (with the permission of the Holy See) inadvertently remedied this by sending the Spanish higher clergy home. Once the offending clergy had been removed from the popular memory (except in the same way an American might remember King George) the Church started to recover, and then greatly benefited from its role in the Revolution of 1986.

                  • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

                    About Madame Aquino, you may appreciate this little item I wrote partially on her: http://fpb.livejournal.com/406368.html

                    • Almario Javier

                      Yep. She wasn’t perfect – her one blind spot was land reform (which would have been shared by most people of her class and age) – but she has showed that old-school Christian Democracy is a reasonably going concern. Unlike her son, when the United States tried to pressure her to promote immoral family planning methods in exchange for aid, she stood defiant, for example. If, for example, the original plans of the plotters of the 1986 coup had succeeded, I don’t think the Philippines would have been nearly as pro-life as it is today (Aquino’s successor, Ramos – the first non-Catholic President since Aguinaldo – , saw no problem with Western contraception programs, and only failed because local politicians refused to go along with it, to use one example.)

  • http://nebraskaenergyobserver.wordpress.com/ D. A. Christianson

    I’ll add one for you. My co-author, and our friend, Jessica, personally witnessed one in England. She has written about it on her blog.

    • hamiltonr

      Is this Along the Watchtower?

  • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

    Glad to hear this region is RETURNING to the Gospel that it left under the fear of the Islamic sword so long ago. Annaba, Algeria is the modern name for Hippo Regius, the diocese where St. Augustine was Archbishop. Christians have been there all along, just very quiet for the last 1600 years or so.

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      Not archbishop – just bishop. This is important because when you find Augustine writing to the Pope, or to the established giant St.Jerome, and gaining their confidence and approval, you must realize that he was doing so from a comparatively minor and provincial see.

      • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

        Thanks for the correction. Somewhat minor- Algeria is on the southern shore and in a time when the fastest transport was by boat, it is in many ways closer to Rome than Constantinople.

        • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

          I know. But when Augustine started writing to Jerome, Jerome lived in Palestine, much further off.

  • cestusdei

    Islam is more vulnerable then most think.

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      In Italy, according to a story published a few years ago in the leading newspaper Corriere della Sera, there has been a significant change. Twenty-five years ago, only about a half dozen Italian dioceses out of 216 had a ministry dedicated to adult converts. Now it is nearly all of them. And guess which group is supplying (very secretly) most of the converts?

  • Mike Blackadder

    Truly amazing. Maybe he goes where he knows Christian evangelists cannot go. I am not an advocate for the practices of Islam, particularly in Islamic states, but I will say that Muslims exemplify piety. I wonder if it’s not only He perceives a need, but appearances of Christ is partly His answer to this exceptional piety.


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