Amid a complicated diplomatic situation in Algeria, evangelicals call on the EU to “push for increased freedom of religion” in the country.
May our prayers and our advocacy for our suffering brothers and sisters in Algeria be as persistent as those of the Luke 18 widow.
They were accused of “unauthorized worship”. The court has upheld the sentence of six months in prison but reduced the fine by half.
The entity representing 600 million evangelicals calls on Algeria “to end their persecution of evangelicals, rescind the unjust court sentences, and allow the churches forcibly closed to reopen”.
Government officials have begun proceedings to close another Protestant church. Sixteen churches have been closed in the past four years.
In November, a senior UN official told civil society, “You need to insist, repeat yourself, send letters to the UN, keep reminding us”.
Christians demonstrate in the streets of Tizi-Ouzou with singing and signs: “Stop the abuse of power”.
The pastor and a bookstore salesman were condemned for “distributing publications or any other propaganda undermining the faith of a Muslim”.
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom annual report denounces that “the pandemic fostered misinformation targeting religious minorities”.
Evangelical leaders from the Middle East and North Africa analyse the impact of the uprisings that began in 2010, and the current situation.
In a UN Human Rights Council session, evangelicals ask Algeria “to allow re-opening of all churches and revise the ordinance on non-Muslim worship”. The government argues they do not comply with Algerian legislation.
An interview with Salah Chalah, President of the Eglise Protestante d’Algérie. “2020 was a very difficult year for us Protestants, who have been deprived of our places of worship - until today”.
In a written statement to the UN Human Rights Council, the WEA also addresses the deteriorating environment for religious minorities in India and the incitement to violence of anti-conversion laws.
In a letter sent in December, three UN Human Rights Council special rapporteurs asked the government to stop the “intimidation and discriminatory treatment” of Protestants.
The father of four young children had been sentenced to five years in prison and fined 100,000 dinars. “That this story goes back three years and only now it’s resurfacing – it’s hard to digest”, says the church that supports his family.
A request to reopen places of worship was recently rejected without a justification. The Algerian Protestant Church (EPA) invites Christians worldwide “to join us to pray for Algeria”.
“These closures are a clear hindrance to the free practice and exercise of religion”, the politicians say in a letter to the Algerian President.
The 2006 law requires non-Muslim worship buildings to be licensed, but all applications to do so have remained unattended. “We all know that these laws are only there to muzzle Christians and other religious minorities”.
Growing pressure on Christians in China, Algeria, Burkina Faso, according to the 2020 Open Doors World Watch List. Christians face severe persecution in 73 countries.
A letter was delivered to the ambassador “in favour of religious freedom in Algeria and in support of the evangelical churches in that country”.
The EU adopted a resolution which calls “for an end to violations against the freedom of Christians and other religious minorities to worship”
This year International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church is on November 10th. One out of every nine professing Christians face persecution, isolation and violence worldwide.
The closure of at least 12 Protestant church buildings gets international attention. Algerian Christians share their situation in videos posted online. 63,000 have already signed a petition defending religious freedom.
Video of the moment police officers enter a Protestant evangelical church near Tizi-Ouzou to close it. Church members do not stop singing, and peacefully resist later.
Police use force to eject Christians resisting in protest. The closures this week bring to 15 the number of worship buildings sealed since the government launched a campaign againt churches.