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Slimane Bouhafs
Photo: World Watch Monitor

Algerian Christians are grateful that Slimane Bouhafs, who has been imprisoned since September 2016 for blasphemy, recently received a partial pardon. Slimane's three-year sentence was reduced by 16 months on July 5th (the national day of Algeria), following a decree by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika that provided clemency to several prisoners on account of good behaviour in prison. As a result of the partial pardon, Slimane only has nine months remaining to his prison sentence.

Slimane was first sentenced to five years' imprisonment on August 7th after posting information on Facebook that was considered blasphemous. (A previous report on his case is available here.) However, in October 2016, his family appealed to the president by requesting pardon for Slimane, whose health had deteriorated significantly since imprisonment. A crowd of concerned Algerians also gathered in the northern city of Tizi Ouzou to lobby on his behalf, petitioning that he be allowed access to medical treatment.

With support from human rights activists, family members have consistently pleaded for Slimane's release and condemned the arbitrary judicial process leading to his sentencing and imprisonment. They also called for a change to be made to the existing law which punishes anyone deemed to have insulted the Prophet Muhammad or "denigrated the dogma or precepts of Islam." While the presidential pardon is good news, please continue to keep Slimane and his family in your prayers, as they continue to advocate an earlier release.

Current Ministry Project

The Voice of the Martyrs Canada is equipping persecuted Christians in Algeria with biblical and theological training through the support of a seminary that provides contextually biblical and relevant training.

Project Fund: Equipping the Saints

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
43,576,691 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Aran-Berber (99), European (<1)

Religions (%)
Muslim (99), Other, Christian and Jewish (<1)

Leader
Abdelmadjid Tebboune (Dec. 2019)

Government type
Presidential republic

Legal system
mix of French civil law and Islamic law

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Algeria

Pray that God will use the current restrictions to draw many more Algerians into a relationship with Christ. Pray for conversions to Jesus among the country’s powerful Islamist leaders.

Pray Algerian believers will respond to pressure with faith and perseverance.

Pray for the nation's young people, who make up a large percentage of the population in general, as well as the majority of Christians. May they not be frustrated or disillusioned but rather strengthened and encouraged in Christ Jesus.

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