The family is the source of greatest pressure for Christians in Algeria, most of whom are converts from Muslim backgrounds. Pressure also comes from the law. A 2006 law, forbidding public assembly for purposes of practising a faith other than Islam, has created a more restrictive environment for Christians. This affects most Christian places of worship, except for Catholic churches and one Protestant church. In addition, Islamist movements such as Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb are increasingly making their presence felt.

 

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‘Finally my father is home’ – Slimane Bouhafs released after 18 months in jail

Slimane Bouhafs has been released after 18 months in prison for alleged blasphemy on Facebook. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

The daughter of Slimane Bouhafs, an Algerian Christian who has spent the last 18 months in prison for insulting Islam and its prophet, has announced her father’s release. “Finally my father … has been allowed back to us,” his daughter, Tilelli, wrote on her Facebook page on Easter Saturday. “Thank […]

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Algeria government denies church closures are discrimination

"Notre Dame d'Afrique", the Roman Catholic Basilica in Algiers, Algeria. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

The Algerian Minister of Religious Affairs has denied discriminating against the country’s Christian minority by ordering the closure of several churches in recent months. The latest church closures took place last week, as two churches were sealed by police in the north-western city of Oran. A week beforehand, two more churches […]

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Algeria: two more churches closed, others threatened

Algeria: two more churches closed, others threatened

Local authorities in Algeria’s north-western city of Oran have closed two more churches amidst growing pressure on Christians in the Maghreb country. The two churches – L’Oratoire (The Oratory) in Oran’s city centre, and a village church in Layayda (about 40km from Oran) – were sealed off by police on […]

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‘Intensified campaign’ against Algeria’s churches

‘Intensified campaign’ against Algeria’s churches

Churches and individual Christians in Algeria have faced increased restrictions in recent months, raising concerns that these pressures signal a “coordinated campaign of intensified action against churches by the governing authorities”, according to Christian advocacy group Middle East Concern. On 19 December, three Christians were arrested in Chlef, 200km north-west […]

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Algerian church closed for ‘illegally printing Bibles and material intended for evangelism’

Algerian church closed for ‘illegally printing Bibles and material intended for evangelism’

A church in Algeria’s north-western town of Aïn Turk (15km from Oran city) has been closed down by local authorities. The church, affiliated to the Protestant Church of Algeria (known as EPA, its French acronym), was sealed off by police on 9 November. Authorities in Oran claimed the church had […]

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Algeria: ‘unjust law’ still denying churches their ‘right to worship’

Algeria: ‘unjust law’ still denying churches their ‘right to worship’

Churches in northern Algeria continue to clash with the authorities over permission to hold services in non-religious buildings. Authorities in Tizi Ouzou province – 100km east of the capital, Algiers – have said a 2006 law that regulates non-Muslim worship is breached by churches meeting in houses meant only for […]

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