Algeria: Charity warns church closures are part of a ‘systematic campaign’ against Christians

September 22, 2019

Look at how hard government and law enforcement authorities have to work to prevent the growth of Christianity there. They can’t keep the message of the Holy Gospel from answering the deepest longings in the hearts of their people.

The modern nation of Algeria was once a renowned center of Orthodox Christianity. The holy martyr St. Cyprian of Carthage, Blessed Augustine of Hippo, and many other saints hailed from North Africa. But in 647, the first Arab invaders arrived, and the Islamization of the area began. Ultimately, Christianity was entirely wiped out in North Africa.

Today Christianity, albeit not yet Holy Orthodoxy, is returning to North Africa. Yet as we see in so many areas, this article shows yet again that the persecution of Christians is mandated by the government and legal authorities. Please keep the Christians of Algeria who are enduring these church closures in your prayers, and pray also to our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ for the revival of Holy Orthodoxy in this venerable land.

“Charity warns church closures in Algeria are part of a ‘systematic campaign’ against Christians,” by Tola Mbakwe, Premier, September 21, 2019:

Christian anti-persecution charity Open Doors UK has said there are systematic government plans to close get rid of churches in Algeria and it’s been going on for two years.

The charity said when paramilitary police attempted to shut down Church of the Prince of Peace in Ighzer Amokrane recently, Christians occupied the church and refused to leave.

The authorities managed to succeed at the second attempt and the church has been closed since 2 September.

Representatives of l’Église Protestante d’Algérie (EPA), the legally recognised umbrella group of Protestant churches in Algeria, said the closure was illegal as it had not been ordered by court.

Around the same time, leaders of another EPA-affiliated church in Maatkas were called by the authorities and interrogated.

The charity said a 2006 ordinance regulating non-Muslim worship requires all churches to be licensed. Since November 2017, most EPA-affiliated churches have been asked to prove they have a licence.

Meanwhile, applications from churches for a licence have been ignored by the authorities and many churches have received written orders to cease all activities….

There are 125,000 Christians in Algeria. They are a tiny minority, making up 0.3 per cent of the total population of 42 million. Most of them are believers from Muslim backgrounds….