Abdel-Nour from Algeria shares his testimony of how meeting Jesus Christ set him free from a life of hatred, enabling him to learn to love his enemies.
“Previously, hate towards Arabs filled my heart. Today, that 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 in his heart. Growing up amid political turmoil, he witnessed violence and humiliation from the Arab rulers of the country against the Amazigh tribes. “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.
Things began to change when Abdel-Nour met some people from a local church. “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’ (Matt. 5:44) and ‘If I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing’ (1 Cor. 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. I also have Arab friends.”