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Another Protestant place of worship under threat of closure in Algeria

Government officials have begun proceedings to close another Protestant church. Sixteen churches have been closed in the past four years.

FUENTES Protestante Digital, Middle East Concern AUTOR 5/Evangelical_Focus TIZI-OUZOU 21 DE FEBRERO DE 2022 09:09 h
A gathering of Algerian Christians in a house in July 2021./Youtube Crètiens in Algeria.

Christians in Algeria continue to face discrimination by the authorities.



In recent years, the authorities put in place the Law 03/06 to regulate non-Muslim worship by preventing any public gathering in places that do not have a licence granted by the government.



The blocking of licences - none have been granted - prevents Christians from meeting, which has led to the closure of sixteen places of worship of the Algerian Protestant Church (EPA).



This February, a Protestant church in the town of Ait Atteli is also under threat of closure. The provincial governor filed a lawsuit against the church's pastor and his father on 2 February. A date for the court hearing has not yet been set.



The church is located in Tizi Ouzou, the province where most Algerian Christians live, and has more than 90 members. It was established in 2006 and is also part of the EPA.



The pastor's father, who was accused by the governor, owns the land where the church is located, according to information from Middle East Concern.



 



“We gather in houses or outdoors... just like the early church”



In an interview with Evangelical Focus, the President of the EPA, Salah Chalah, explained last year how they are coping with the crackdown as they wait for the authorities to respond to a situation that has dragged on much longer than desired.



Chalah pointed out that Protestants in Tizi-Ouzou “gather in houses or outdoors... just like the early church”, so that “what is difficult for us is the absence of the fraternal communion in our weekly prayer meetings, Bible studies and, especially, our times of common worship”.



But, in the midst of the difficulties, “what encourages us is to see Christians organise themselves into small groups for communion. It also encourages us to see new conversions; and baptisms in rivers, at sea, in houses. We cannot stop the Spirit of the Lord, God continues to touch hearts”.


 

 


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PROTESTANTE DIGITAL FORMA PARTE DE LA: Alianza Evangélica Española
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