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”.
The Geneva office of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) took part in the general debate of the UN Human Rights Council 49th session, about Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention on 22 March.
During his address, WEA Advocacy Officer, Wissam al-Saliby expressed his concern about the many violations of religious freedom that the Algerian government continues to make.
“To date, Algerian authorities have forcibly closed 17 out of the 43 churches that are members of the umbrella organization, the Protestant Church of Algeria. More have received closure orders”, denounced Wissam al-Saliby.
He pointed out that “despite repeated requests, no Evangelical Protestant church in Algeria has received authorization for non-Muslim worship”.
Furthermore, the WEA is “especially concerned that 12 Christians have been brought before a court in the last 18 months for the peaceful exercise of their religious beliefs”.
The WEA Advocacy Officer explained that some have been sentenced to prison and other to pay fines, accused of “blasphemy, the practice of unauthorized non-Muslim worship, accepting donations for proselytizing, distributing Bibles, or agitating the faith of Muslims”.
“We call on Algerian authorities to end their persecution of Protestant and Evangelical Christians, rescind the unjust court sentences, and allow the churches forcibly closed to reopen”, stressed Wissam al-Saliby.
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