Republic of Tunisia
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Located in North Africa, between Algeria and Libya, Tunisia lies across the Mediterranean Sea from Sicily. Founded by Phoenician sailors three thousand years ago, it became famous in ancient times as the Carthage of Queen Dido. It fell to the Romans in 146 B.C. and to the Arabs, who brought Islam to the area, in 649. Arab rule lasted until the Turkish conquest of 1574 and Tunisia was then ruled by the Ottomans until Italy, England and France began to lay claim to it in the late nineteenth century. Becoming a French protectorate in 1883, it was eventually granted independence in 1956. The first multi-party elections were held in 1994 and today the Republic is governed by a single legislative body known as the Chamber of Deputies. Tunisia covers an area of 163,610 sq km (63,170 sq miles) and has a population nearing ten million.
Tunisia is a relatively prosperous country strongly influenced by France (with whom Tunisia maintain close ties) and European culture and has a diverse economy. Agriculture is the chief employer but that has declined in recent years as mineral and petroleum exports have been developed. Tourism has also been on the rise as the country provides a wide range of geographic features including mountains, desert, beaches and fertile river basins. Ancient Roman ruins are also a draw.
Ninety-eight percent of the population is Muslim. While fundamentalism is said to be on the rise the women of Tunisia enjoy greater equality here than anywhere else in the Arab world. One percent of the population are Jewish and one percent Christian.
Mac Lynn’s Churches of Christ around the World reports that at one time an English speaking a cappella Churches of Christ congregation was meeting in Tunis, the capital city, but at present there are no indications that that work has been sustained.
Clinton J. Holloway
National Profiles Editor
For further historical reference:
Churches of Christ Around the World, Lynn, Mac, 21st Century Christian Publications, Nashville, TN, 2003.
For online directories of a cappella Churches of Christ see: