Thursday, August 28, 2014

Moh-Christophe Bilek on being a Berber Christian and convert from Islam

Alex Miller recently interviewed Moh-Christophe Bilek. Mr. Bilek is a native of Algeria and of Berber background, as opposed to Arab background. Bilek is also involved in Internet-based outreach and apologetics.

Miller and Bilek's interview was recently published in French (here) and then translated into English for Global Missiology (here). Here is one of Miller's questions with Bilek's response:

Miller: One of the classes I teach here in Nazareth is on Early Church History, and North Africa had some very important churches like Carthage and Hippo, and great saints like Augustine, Perpetua, Felicitas, and Cyprian. Yet indigenous Christianity was almost entirely absent from the region for centuries. Do you feel like that early history means much to the new Christians today? Or is it just an interesting but unimportant historical footnote?
Bilek: The discovery of the African saints, and mainly the greatest of them, Augustine of Thagaste [traditionaly known as Augustine of Hippo], is always vivifying and almost blissful: If my distant ancestors were Christians, then there is no shame in being one, more than one convert has said to himself. Some have declared after their baptism, I came back to the religion of my fathers! But more generally speaking, ancient Christianity enables oneself to ask the question of freedom of choice. If my distant ancestors chose Islam freely, then I can make the same choice myself; but if this religion was imposed on him bi seif (by sword), then I do not commit a treason toward my tribe if I quit this religion.

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