Bible Society in Northern Ireland

Call to Prayer: Church in Algeria under threat

Since May 2017, the Bible Society in Algeria has been trying, without success, to obtain a license to import Scripture materials. Today, the entire Algerian Christian community is under threat.

Worship in Tizi-Ouzou, Algeria.

 

The Protestant Church of Algeria (Église protestante d’Algérie – EPA) has issued a statement objecting to the closure by the authorities of four of its places of worship across the country: in Oran (the north-east), in Béjaïa and Tizi-Ouzou (the north, in Kabylie) and in Ouargla (the centre). They were told to ‘cease all activity’, and all EPA member churches are worried that they will be closed, too.

The EPA – the only Algerian Protestant Church body recognised in the country – has been officially registered since 1974. Its registration was confirmed in July 2011, and its statutes were updated in accordance with the 2012 law.

 

Intimidation

In its statement, the EPA also denounced the intimidation of its members, including recent lawsuits filed against three Christians wrongfully accused of proselytising, the targeted searches of Christians at Algiers airport, and the confiscation of Christian books. Other incidents mentioned by the EPA are the “closure of a bookshop in Oran because the owner is a Christian” and “an attempt to close a quail farm in Layada Oran, also owned by a Christian.”

In each of these actions against Christians, the authorities have been using the 2006 law, which governs “non-Muslim cults”, and in particular article 11, which forbids anybody from “seeking to shake the faith of a Muslim”. This vague wording means that Christians can face accusation no matter what they do.

Ali Khidri, Executive Secretary of the Bible Society in Algeria.Ali Khidri, Executive Secretary of the Bible Society in Algeria, is very concerned about this brutal turn of events for the Church in his country.

“Please pray for Algerian Christians and for the ministry of the Bible Society here,” he says. “Our freedom of worship is facing a grave threat and there is a clear violation of fundamental freedoms. We need your prayers more than ever.”

 

 


Bible Society NI is praying for the Christian community in Algeria.

Please join us. 

 

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