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The church of Ait-Mellikeche - World Watch Monitor - www.worldwatchmonitor.org
The church of Ait-Mellikeche.
Photo: World Watch Monitor

Several churches throughout Algeria have been closed by authorities in recent months, resulting in calls to the government for equal treatment for Protestant Christians. Since November, six churches associated with the l'Eglise Protestante d'Algérie (EPA) have been closed, even though the EPA was officially recognized by the government since 1974. However, in 2012, the government required re-registration and has, to date, not renewed that legal status.

Places of worship for non-Muslims are required to be built for the purpose of worship only, but they require approval. Requests for approval have generally been ignored, resulting in many churches meeting in rented homes or apartments. The authorities have been closing these churches under the guise of safety concerns, although human rights observers view the action as a coordinated campaign against churches.

Along with the closures, individual Christians and pastors have also faced harassment and fines for "proselytising." In one recent case, a verdict against Noureddine Belabbes was upheld on May 16th. Having been charged for transporting Bibles, he faces a fine of $1,100 CAN, plus legal expenses.

Pray that the Christians in Algeria will stand firm despite ongoing pressure from the forces around them. May God speak to the hearts of the government officials so that necessary approval will be given, allowing these believers to practise their faith in freedom and peace. Also pray for Noureddine and others who are facing prosecution because of their desire to reach out with the Gospel.

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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